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How Sandy Springs Police is working to deter catalytic converter thefts

Drivers can opt to etch their pin number into the auto part for free.

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A metro Atlanta police department has a new plan to tackle an issue that's costing Georgia drivers millions of dollars.

Catalytic converter thefts have become a nationwide problem and in Georgia, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said thefts are up 118% over the last year. A theft could cost a driver $1,000-$3,000 to replace, according to the bureau.

However, Sandy Springs Police Department is working on a solution and partnering with auto repair shops to help drivers faced with theft. The agency has teamed up with Advanced Auto, True Automotive and Pep Boys to help keep vehicles safe. 

Partnering shops will etch part of one's VIN number into the catalytic converter that's highlighted by flame-proof paint - for free.

"Well, it's designed to be more of a deterrent," Sgt. Matthew McGinnis with Sandy Springs Police said. "And (it) gives us the opportunity to then look back and try to determine whether it's been stolen off of a car or not."

Thieves are targeting catalytic converters because they have platinum - a metal considered rarer than gold. The value of platinum hit a six-year high earlier this year. Hopefully, the etched VIN will deter the reselling of the converters, police said.

To protect one's vehicle, people can head to the following stores below. Car owners will need to schedule an appointment, but the catalytic converter treatment is free, according to Sandy Springs Police.

Pep Boys
6521 Roswell Road
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

True Automotive
6569 Roswell Road
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

*Advanced Auto is supplying flame-proof paint.

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