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Duluth police offer kits to prevent catalytic converter theft

Free identification labels are available at the Public Safety Building.

catalytic converter with identification label
An identification label allows a vehicle identification number to be etched into a catalytic converter, with the goal of deterring theft.
Contributed / Duluth Police Department
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DULUTH — With catalytic converter thefts on the rise, the Duluth Police Department is offering car owners kits that may help deter would-be thieves.

The department has 110 identification label kits available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Public Safety Building, 2030 N. Arlington Ave., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Recovery rate for stolen vehicles is in the high-80% to lower-90% range. But they're often in rough shape by the time they turn up.

Owners of the following models are encouraged to pick up a free kit: 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 and Toyota Tundra.

The kits contain an identification label that can be applied and etched into the catalytic converter, allowing officers to identify stolen devices should they later be recovered. But police hope the mere presence of the label will deter thefts in the first place.

“Catalytic converters continue to be stolen because they contain precious metals worth up to $1,600 and this is a simple thing we can do to deter criminals and reduce theft,” Morgan Cekalla, auto theft investigator, said in a statement.


Staff will explain to residents how to register the kits upon pick-up. They can be self-installed or taken to one of four participating body shops for free service: Kenwood Muffler & Brake, 1508 Kenwood Ave.; 4th Street Auto, 1118 E. Fourth St.; Thompson’s T-Express, 210 S. 27th Ave. W.; or Allstar Service Center, 329 E. Central Entrance.

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