ROCHESTER, Minnesota (KTTC) – On Wednesday, the Rochester Police Department (RPD) Community Action Team (CAT) and three local oil change companies painted catalytic converters for free.
“I think I broke a record, it seemed like it was only a few minutes,” said Gabriel Sciallis, a Rochester resident.
The Jiffy Lube on Commercial Drive, Valvoline Instant Oil Change on 55th Street and Quick Lane on 2nd Street were the participating locations.
They painted the catalytic converters orange using a stencil that read “RPD”.
All drivers had to do to get their part painted was wait in their car and fill out a form.
“We are going to put together some basic general information about your license plate. That sort of thing. So if your catalytic converter ends up being stolen, it will be recorded that it has been painted. So we can document that and maybe it could help recover a theft or identify a suspect, ”Officer James Marsolek said.
RPD said that over the winter it received dozens of reports of stolen catalytic converters each month. The RPD received eight reports last month, up from zero in May of last year.
Catalytic converters are needed on automobiles to help prevent aggressive toxins from polluting the air.
Thieves can get hundreds of dollars for the coin because it contains the precious metals platinum, rhodium, and palladium.
However, it costs drivers thousands of dollars to replace a missing converter.
“I want this to be a diversion. So I want to hijack anything. I’m ‘pro’ quite opposed to ‘post’. I don’t want to have to pay for anything else to get this car fixed,” he said. said Dena Hankerson, a resident of Rochester.
RPD said a total of 161 drivers came to have their catalytic converters painted on Wednesday.
“I think it’s fantastic. It shows they care about us,” said Rochester resident Connie Mullins.
“For the police to step up and the different businesses to step up, that’s a good thing for the community,” Hankerson said.
Last month, Tilson’s Auto Repair began painting the catalytic converters. The family business invites drivers to leave their cars with Tilson for the day to paint the converters.
To help track a converter better if it is caught, Tilson’s uses a different color each month for the converter paint. The color of the month for June is yellow.
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