NEW YORK - Catalytic converter thefts have exploded over the last several years, as thieves covet the valuable materials to make the car part.
On Friday, the NYPD Auto Crime Unit introduced a new initiative aimed at helping combat thefts.
"It's a growing problem over the last few years not only here in Staten Island, but through the city and the nation," said Terence Hurson, NYPD Deputy Chief.
As part of a new initiative, the NYPD is offering to etch unique serial numbers onto each car's catalytic converter. The number can be entered into a database to investigate and track thefts and will give drivers a window sticker that shows which vehicles are enrolled with the program, in hopes that it will deter some thieves.
The NYPD is also telling residents to be proactive, specifically in Staten Island where some of the most recent brazen thefts have taken place.
If you see a catalytic converter theft happening, residents are encouraged to call 9-1-1 and get a good description of the thieves' getaway car.