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The Mandan area sees an increase in catalytic converter thefts



Mandan, North Dakota – Catalytic converters from vehicles in the vicinity have recently been stolen in greater numbers, according to the Mandan Police Department.

“Please make sure to check your vehicles often and contact law enforcement if you feel like someone has tampered with your vehicle,” the police note in a Facebook post. “Mandan Tire and Northwest Tire in Mandan are offering FREE VIN engraving into the catalytic converter. Contact either business and request an appointment. Having the engravement done to your vehicle will assist law enforcement when investigating catalytic converter thefts.”

Thefts of catalytic converters have been an ongoing issue in North Dakota and throughout the country for a number of years. Western North Dakota, particularly the Minot, Berthold, Bismarck, and Mandan regions, has seen a spike in theft reports.

Five people were detained earlier this year for thefts of catalytic converters in Ward County dating back to 2021.

The vehicle identifying number (VIN), which is widely engraved on catalytic converters for free, makes it simple to recognize stolen converters.

Why would someone take this specific auto component? Platinum, rhodium, and palladium are three expensive metals found inside catalytic converters. Once the component has been removed from the vehicle, those who steal catalytic converters attempt to sell them. Depending on the size of the converter, they can be purchased for up to $150.

Also, they are simple to steal. According to authorities, thieves can remove a converter from a car and vanish in 5 to 10 minutes.