Feb. 13, 2023–Mankato, Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety announced a program to track catalytic converters in an attempt to reduce theft, Mankato Free Press reports.
The program was announced this past Wednesday, making Mankato “at least the 11th city in the state to participate” since the Minnesota Legislature first introduced it in 2021.
The way it works is catalytic converters will be marked with a numbered label to help keep track of them, and hopefully deter others from taking them.
According to associate director of public safety Dan Schisel, catalytic converters don’t have identifying characteristics to distinguish any one from another. Once the numbered label is created, it cannot be removed. A fluid is painted over the label in order for the number to remain after the vehicle starts.
“It is permanent and you really can’t get it off,” said Travis Defries, manager at TGK Automotive, one of the auto shops offering to install the labels for free. “It basically etches it into the catalytic converter.”
Those looking to participate in the program must register their vehicle at the Public Safety Center, and will then “receive a packet including the CATGUARD identification label, along with instructions on how to install it.” They have the option of installing it themselves or having a participating shop do it at no cost to them.