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IMPD event aimed at preventing catalytic converter thefts

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) —  An effort to keep thieves away from catalytic converters is now underway.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department launched its “Paint to Protect’ program in partnership with Take 5 Oil Change at 2640 S. East St. Wednesday. Technicians at the shop will paint driver converters in bright, high-temperature spray paint. The goal is to get thieves to deter and move on after. IMPD says the bright color helps recyclers look for identification marks like the vehicle’s license plate number. IMPD will help people etch those numbers onto converters too.

News 8 spoke with Commander Ronald Hicks, who says IMPD has reported an explosion in the number of thieves stealing catalytic converters for valuable metals inside.  

“It is a pretty easy steal for a bad guy. They crawl under the vehicle and steal it. We encourage folks who have a garage park in it. If you don’t, try to park in a well-lit area. If you have a driveway, park up as far as you can towards your house just to make it harder on these picking on you to get your converter,” said Hicks.

Thieves then sell the converter to scrap yards for up to hundreds of dollars in quick cash.

“The higher off the ground your vehicle sits, the more prone it is to be a victim,” said Hicks.  

He added that larger suspects can’t slide under cars close to the ground.

IMPD says the entire process takes just a few minutes and is free of charge. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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