Car dealerships now offering catalytic converter ‘theft deterrent’

Minneapolis has reported 642 catalytic converter thefts this year, an increase of 27% over last year’s already record-setting numbers.

St. Paul Police Department/Twitter

Catalytic converter thefts have become such a problem that some car dealerships are now charging $60 for theft deterrent services.

The Rudy Luther Toyota dealership in Minnetonka is now offering to spray catalytic converters with “high-temp, flame-proof orange paint” and engrave VIN numbers on the converter casing.

A sign at Rudy Luther Toyota in Minnetonka promotes “catalytic converter theft deterrent” services.

Even still, the dealership “does not guarantee against catalytic converter theft” but hopes “the installation of our product” will encourage thieves to “move on to an easier target.”

In Minneapolis, catalytic converter thefts increased from 207 in 2019 to 1,474 last year, a more than 600% increase. Suburbs like Eden Prairie said they experienced similar increases.

As of May 20, Minneapolis had reported 642 catalytic converter thefts, an increase of 27% over last year’s already record-setting numbers.

Things got so out of hand in St. Paul that the police department offered a “clinic” in April to help residents “make their exhaust emission control devices a little less appealing to thieves.” At the time, the capital city had experienced 560 catalytic converter thefts — an average of almost six a day.