A special sticker with the hope of preventing catalytic converter thefts


CHICAGO — Chicago police teamed up with auto shops to get some special stickers installed to deter would-be catalytic converter thieves.

Crews at Midwest Performance on West Fulton worked with officers from Chicago Police Department’s 12th district to try to help residents and officers.

Andy Bizub, who owns the shop, said catalytic converter thefts are very speedy crimes.

“60 seconds, it’s really quick,” Bizub said.

And then it is resold for $50 to a few hundred dollars. The owners are left with a much higher price tag to replace them.

That’s where the special stickers come in.

“This has an acid etching in it,” Bizub said. “Once you apply the sticker, the acid with etch the numbers into the catalytic converter. Those numbers will remain and it will still be traceable.

Julie Darling with the West Loop Community Group and police district advisory committee member hopes the stickers will allow police to track the theft and get the offenders.

The group asked for help getting these stickers rolled out to the community with the money for the program provided through the local alderman’s office.

“Believe through the fundraising, we’ve purchased 500 stickers altogether,” Darling said. “There will be more of these events coming.”

The letters “CPD” are sprayed onto each converter in addition to the sticker.

“When the thief goes under, they’ll hopefully move to a car that’s not marked,” Bizub said.

A couple of police departments have had these events already.

Others are expected to follow suit, depending on funds made available by each alderman’s office.

If you would like to know more about an event near you, you should keep an eye on your police district’s social media pages.

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