Suffolk police hold catalytic converter crime prevention event amid spike in thefts

Suffolk County police held a catalytic convert crime prevention event Saturday in St. James to help combat a rise in thefts.
Police say an increase in the value of the precious metals found in catalytic converters, which include rhodium, platinum and palladium, is the main motivating factor in the spike in thefts. 
Catalytic converter thefts in Nassau are up nearly 250% percent so far this year.  There were 445 converters stolen in 2021 while 1,549 have been stolen so far this year.
There are nearly three times as many thefts reported in Suffolk. There were 289 converters stolen last year and 819 stolen so far this year.
Suffolk County police teamed up with Gershow Recycling to hand out free catalytic converter etching kits with serial numbers that correspond to a database in an effort to stop the thieves in their tracks. 
Lawrence Schillinger, of Gershow Recycling, says whenever scrap recyclers receive a catalytic converter with this information etched into it, they scan the person’s ID who turned it in and are able to check if it was stolen from another person.
There are other ways to make it harder for criminals to steal your catalytic converter, such as keeping cars in better lighting, using surveillance equipment, and installing motion detectors.
Catalytic converter etching kits are available to be purchased online.