DENVER — The Denver Police Department has partnered with Lincoln Tech to provide a precautionary measure to prevent catalytic converter thefts.
On Saturday the two hosted an event to etch and paint catalytic converters free of charge for Denver residents.
"What we're seeing right now is really an epidemic of thefts when it comes to catalytic converters," Denver Police Lt. Kevin Hines told 9NEWS.
"Here in District 5 last year, for the entire year, we had 28 catalytic converters stolen. Year to date so far in 2021, we've had 160 stolen just here in District 5."
Catalytic converters have a small amount of metals that can be worth thousands of dollars. That is also how much it could cost to replace those parts.
"Twelve hundred to three thousand dollars," Lincoln Tech instructor Travis Vieira estimated. "It is a lot of money."
Lincoln Tech staff and students spent Saturday morning etching VIN numbers onto catalytic converters of the residents that signed up for the event.
They also spray painted the car part hoping to deter thieves but if it doesn't, the VIN numbers will help police.
"The etching is the last eight digits of the VIN number so that if the catalytic converter is stolen we have a way to associate it with a car," Vieira explained.
Three hundred people brought in their cars on Saturday. Due to the high demand, Denver Police say they will be working with Lincoln Tech to schedule another event soon.
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