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Maple Grove, MN (KROC-AM News) - A new report estimates the insured losses associated with the thefts of catalytic converters in Minnesota this year could reach $25 million.

The Insurance Federation of Minnesota says the state is at the national epicenter of a surge in the thefts of the vehicle emission control devices. The group says the problem is especially acute in the Twin Cities, where Minneapolis and St. Paul are on pace to likely see nearly 4000 catalytic converter thefts this year. That represents a nearly 10,000 percent increase when compared to the 40 reports of stolen catalytic converters statewide in 2018. The statewide total this year is up 425 percent.

“If these numbers hold up, it means the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul will together report more catalytic converter thefts than the entire country did just two years ago,” said Aaron Cocking, President & CEO of the Insurance Federation of Minnesota.

While California leads the nation for the total number of catalytic converter thefts this year, the Insurance Institute of Minnesota notes the highest risk for the thefts is in the Twin Cities. The organization says the most popular car for catalytic converter thefts is the Toyota Prius, followed by the Mitsubishi Endeavor and Outlander models.

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The Insurance Institutes report includes some tips can that help prevent you from becoming the victim of catalytic converter theft.

  • Park personal cars in a garage, if possible. Consider using motion sensor
    activated lights or cameras if your car cannot be garaged.
  •  Park fleet vehicles in a well-lit, locked and alarmed enclosed space.
  •  Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device. Several companies make these at a
    variety of costs and installation ease.
  • Etch your VIN or License Plate number onto the converter or use a high
    temperature brightly colored paint to mark it.
  • Call police and your insurer immediately if you become the victim of a theft.

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