Data shows decrease in catalytic converter theft so far this year in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Since 2019, there has been a steady rise in catalytic converter thefts nationwide, especially in New Mexico.
Now, new data from State Farm suggest a decrease in thefts, even here in our state, during the first half of 2023.
There were 146 claims in the first half of 2023, which is trending lower than the 361 claims last year.
“A lot of attention has been put on catalytic converters. As it’s been said, it’s a hot topic,” said Benjamin Palmer, a spokesperson for State Farm.
In February, Albuquerque city councilors passed an ordinance making it harder to sell catalytic converters for its scrap metal value.
Then, in April, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill into law requiring dealers to keep records of catalytic converter transactions.
A month later, data shows a decrease in claims that continued into June. That led to the fewest claims in May and June since 2020:
- May 2023: 14 claims
- June 2023: 11
- May 2022: 31
- June 2022: 23
- May 2021: 18
- June 2021: 13
- May 2020: 7
- June 2020: 2
“By bringing attention to the issue, folks are being more diligent in where they park. They’re parking in well-lit areas. If they have a garage, they are parking inside their garage,” Palmer said. “Car owners and truck owners are etching the VIN on their catalytic converters. And, we’ve seen a lot of commercial outfits put cages around the catalytic converters to actually prevent and deter theft.”
According to Palmer, if we all continue taking these steps, the issue of catalytic converter theft could soon be a thing of the past.
The Albuquerque Police Department partnered with Jiffy Lube to offer free VIN etchings at metro locations. That initiative is still ongoing.
- New Mexico governor signs 3 public safety bills into law
- ABQ City Council approves bill aimed at deterring catalytic converter theft
- APD partners up with Jiffy Lube to help deter catalytic converter theft