ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is working to reduce theft of catalytic converters. Auto dealers are now able to etch a traceable serial number onto a catalytic converter that can be linked back to its vehicle it if gets stolen.

Car dealerships are one of the main targets for catalytic converter thieves. Some parts of the state have seen a 200 percent increase in catalytic converter thefts over the last three years, according to the DMV.

“New car dealers have been hit particularly hard by these thefts. In addition to the cost to replace the stolen parts, these thefts often result in thousands of dollars in additional damage to the vehicle, which means a dealer has to wait to sell the vehicle or a new car buyer has to wait significantly longer to receive their vehicle,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “We are happy to help get etching kits into the hands of dealers to help them fight the scourge of catalytic converter thefts.”

Catalytic converters contain precious metals whose value has skyrocketed in recent years giving them a street value between $200 and $500. Thieves will enter car lots and cut the converter off vehicles. The DMV said the cost to the car dealer for each catalytic converter is $2,000 to $3,000.