LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — After a series of attempts to steal the catalytic converter from Stephen Jones’ truck, a group of thieves was finally successful during a third attempt back in January of this year.

“Oh, they are experts. The guy had kneepads on,” Jones said.

The whole theft was caught on camera. Once under the Ford F-250, it only took the thieves 27 seconds to cut it out and take off.

“It was 45 seconds from when they opened their car door to when they got back in the car,” Jones said.

In the video, you can also see the neighbor come out and try and scare off the thieves.

“It didn’t even bother them that my neighbor was out there. They just cut it off and took it away,” Jones said.

What happens after the catalytic converter is stolen?

Jones said it took him nearly a month to get a new catalytic converter, and it cost around $2,400. His insurance paid the majority of it, which was good news. He now installed a cage over the new part to help deter thieves.

“It’ll slow them down and, hopefully, they will go on to someone else’s. I hate to say that,” Jones said.

Theft of catalytic converters spiked during the pandemic when it was difficult to find the metals inside. Cale Gould, with the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, said the thefts haven’t slowed since.

“For a new catalytic converter, it could be anywhere from $500 to $2,500,” Gould said.

How to prevent catalytic converter theft

Gould said in the last legislative session, Colorado passed three laws dealing with the car part. He said they are focused on those transacting catalytic converters.

“They are required to maintain records of all catalytic converters transacted. It also requires a photo ID of the people selling the converters, and there is a dollar limit for paying in cash instead of check,” Gould said.

CATPA also offers free DIY kits to label and register the catalytic converter so it can be traced. The label can also be connected to your vehicle’s VIN.

“Marking your converter is key. We have to be able to track these to know if they are stolen or not stolen,” Gould said.

If you aren’t comfortable installing the label yourself, CATPA has partnered with automotive repair facilities that can install or provide and install CatETCH Labels. These include:

“Through our program, it costs nothing to do it yourself kit. You can install it. If you can’t do it yourself, we’ve had lots of automotive companies to do it for you,” Gould said.