VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Vigo County Sheriff’s Office is hoping a partnership with Midas will help prevent catalytic converter thefts.

Residents can take their vehicles to Midas where workers will paint their catalytic converter as well as engrave it with the last six digits of the vehicle’s identification number.

The hope is to make stealing and selling catalytic converters too difficult, while also making recovery easier using the engraving.

Sheriff John Plasse said there were just seven catalytic converter thefts in 2019, however, that number jumped to 59 in 2020 and almost tripled to 162 thefts last year.

So far in 2022, Vigo County has had 61 reports of catalytic converter thefts.

In the spring Brian Niece, the owner of Midas in Terre Haute, told WTWO that they were replacing as many as three catalytic converters a week.

The Sheriff’s Office and Midas hope this new effort prevents that number from climbing.

“Hopefully people will see it and they don’t want to clean all of the paint off of it to go sell it because that would take too much effort,” Midas Owner Brian Niece said. “It’s normally a quick five-minute job, which now turns into hours of cleaning off the paint.”

Earlier in 2022, an Indiana law was enacted that limited the sale of catalytic converters to just $25 dollars per transaction per day.

The service is free and offered to Vigo County residents. To have your catalytic converter marked, just give Midas a call to set up a time to bring your vehicle in. Midas is located at 2300 S. 3rd Street in Terre Haute and can be reached at (812) 872-5179.