LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Catalytic converter theft has seen a furious uptick nationwide.

Thieves target this part in particular because of the precious metals inside that reduce the emission of pollutants in a vehicle’s exhaust.

Repairing the damage caused by the theft can cost up to $3,000.

To help combat the trend, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, the Lansing Police Department, and Shaheen Chevrolet are hosting a special event where Lansing drivers can get their catalytic converters etched with the last eight digits of their car’s VIN number.

Etching the catalytic converter with identifying information helps deter thieves by making it much harder for them to sell stolen converters to scrap yards and metal dealers.

“From supply chain issues to the exploding market value of precious metals, catalytic converter theft continues to be a major issue across the country,” said David Glawe, CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “We saw a dramatic 1,215% increase since 2019. Always practice good security hygiene, make sure your auto policy is up to date, call law enforcement and your insurer if you become a victim.”

Lansing police said the event will hopefully help their officers down the line.

“This program is a great example of a community partnership that will make a difference in the lives of the Lansing residents,” said Jordan Gulkis, Public Information Director of LPD. “Etching identifying information into catalytic converters will give officers another tool for investigating these thefts and holding these thieves accountable.”

The event is Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Shaheen Chevrolet of Lansing at 632 American Road.

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