If you're like me, when I leave my vehicle parked outside, I half expect to find my catalytic converter missing in the morning. Either that or find some desperate dude under my car in the process of removing the catalytic converter.

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I realize that the value of the metal in these things pose a tempting opportunity for some and law enforcement throughout Minnesota is stepping up in an effort to curb these thefts.  Minnesota Department of Commerce has teamed up with local police departments and auto shops throughout the state.

According to fox9.com last year the Minnesota State Legislature approved a catalytic converter theft prevention program. Minnesota is offering free CATGUARD labels for your catalytic converter in an effort to cut down on the increasing number of thefts.

CATGUARD is a label that you can put right on your catalytic converter and when a fluid is put over the label it etches into the converter when the car is started. The labels are in an effort to discourage thieves and aid police departments in Minnesota to identify the thieves, since the labeled converters can be traced back to a specific vehicle.

The labels should be available at you local police station or auto repair shops. According to the new law, these labels are required to be installed at no cost to the owners.

As a consolation to the auto shop owners, they are allowed to require some kind of paid auto service. For example, you may have to purchase a tire rotation, oil change, etc.

For a list of CATGUARD label participants click here.  Oddly enough enough, there don't seem to be any participants in the St Cloud area yet.

Here is the list of the top 15 vehicles most targeted by catalytic converter thieves;

  • Chevrolet Express
  • Ford Econoline
  • Ford F250
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda CRV
  • Honda Element
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Kia Sportage
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse
  • Mitsubishi Lancer
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Toyota Prius
  • Toyota Tundra

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