By Brittany Anderson
KYLE —With catalytic converter thefts on the rise, a local auto shop is on a mission to help deter them in the community.
Dave’s Kyle Auto and Diesel Repair hosted a free catalytic converter burning event on July 16, in partnership with the Kyle Police Department and Kyle Citizens on Patrol, who helped with the event and direct traffic.
Owner David Duarte said the theft of catalytic converters began about 10 years ago and has resumed. There have been 13 reports to Kyle this year, with the entire flight process taking only around 45 seconds.
Duarte hopes to deter that theft with the engraving service, where the vehicle’s license plate number is engraved on the catalytic converter.
Catalytic converters are found in most vehicles today and convert harmful substances such as carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and nitrogen dioxide found in a car’s exhaust into less harmful substances. such as carbon dioxide and water vapor through a series of chemical reactions. They are often found under the vehicle towards the exhaust pipe making it easily accessible for cutting out.
Converters are stolen for the precious metals stored there, including palladium, rhodium and platinum, and sold to recycling centers and other dealers for scrap metal or parts.
Duarte said the centers will verify the origin of the converter, making the engraved number an extra layer of security as they will be able to locate its original owner.
The store was able to service 55 vehicles throughout the event, while also providing customers with snow cones and food from the local food truck, Rub My Rib.
If you missed the burn event, Dave’s Kyle Auto and Diesel Repair will still be offering service for free by appointment at www.kyleautorepair.com. The store is located at 395 County Road 202, Unit 9B in Kyle.
If your converter has been stolen, you will hear a loud noise when starting your car, as well as when accelerating. There will also be an increase in exhaust fumes and odors. The Kyle Police Department encourages residents to report if their converter is stolen.
In addition to burning, you can reduce your chances of having your converter stolen by:
• Choose safe parking conditions with adequate lighting and security
• Installation of a catalytic converter lock
• Spray catalytic converter with very visible, high temperature pain