APD partners up with Jiffy Lube to help deter catalytic converter theft

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Police Department and Jiffy Lube are working on a new initiative for drivers.   

“We want to etch every available catalytic converter that we can,” said Richard Jones, owner of Jiffy Lube. 

Catalytic converters are a high commodity for criminals. They’re easy to take from cars, and with some precious metals making up the car piece, they make for a quick $800 to $1,000.

New Mexico residents, or people just traveling through, can have Jiffy Lube etch your VIN number, and spray paint your catalytic converter with a bright green paint.  It’s no cost, and takes about five minutes.

“It seems like everybody I’ve talked to has had some sort or know somebody who’s had catalytic converter theft,” said Jones.

While criminals are persistent, police say this will keep them from selling catalytic converters since they can be traced back to owners now. 

“If a thief takes something and there’s nowhere to sell it, what’s the point,” said APD Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock. 

Police say they will be cracking down more on people who buy the metal too. 

“If you’re buying this metal, and you know it’s stolen, you’re going to get a visit from us very soon,” said Hartsock. 

This initiative comes after the Albuquerque city council signed a city ordinance requiring scrap metal dealers to keep detailed records of their purchases.  And, after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 133 into place, a bill which also pushes for stronger records and detailed bookkeeping for secondhand metal dealers. 

So far, Jiffy Lube’s etched around 500 cars since they started in April, and they’re calling on other auto shops to take the same initiative as them. 

“We call on every quick lube, every mechanic shop, every facility designed to get underneath a vehicle to join us in marking the accessible catalytic converters,” said Jones. 

The goal is to have at least 50,000 catalytic converters etched by the end of the year.