By Michael Abeyta

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Hands of The Carpenter garage in Golden is a nonprofit that fixes cars for single mothers. They have seen firsthand how impactful a stolen catalytic converter can be which is why they spent their day helping out their community.

“It’s a big deal,” said Dan Georgopulos with Hands of The Carpenter.

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That’s why workers volunteered their time on Saturday to make sure cars are protected from catalytic converter theft.

“The catalytic converter gets a decal on it that gets chemically etched with the serial number onto the cat and then registered into a law enforcement database,” said Cassie Tanner with AAA Colorado.

AAA Colorado and Hands of The Carpenter hope it acts as a deterrent for thieves.

(credit: CBS)

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Catalytic converter thefts are huge problem right now in Colorado. The part contains expensive metals thieves can scrap for good money.

Thieves have been stealing them from all over; parking lots, driveways and even nonprofit garages like Hands of The Carpenter.

(credit: CBS)

When one is stolen, the car’s owner is in for a hefty bill either to replace it or maybe even buy a new car altogether.

“One to three thousand dollars to replace a catalytic converter, and for some people that might be more than the value of the car that they are driving,” said Tanner.

Compare that to this process which is free at any AAA approved shop in the state and will only cost car owners their time.

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“Other than the time that it takes to cool down, it only takes about five minutes or so of work so it’s worth it,” said Georgopulos.

Michael Abeyta