YONKERS, N.Y. (PIX11) — The Yonkers City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night approving fines between $1,000 and $1,500 for anyone caught with a stolen catalytic converter.

“No one should be in possession of a catalytic converter unless they can prove ownership of it, which means, you or I should never have a catalytic converter in the backseat of our car,” City Councilmember Anthony Merante, who sponsored the legislation, told PIX11 News.

Catalytic converters are valuable for the precious metals inside once they are melted down.

Last November, the Yonkers mayor and Council majority leader handed out free etching kits so residents could put serial numbers on their catalytic converters with the hope of tracing them if they’re stolen.

Catalytic converter thefts have soared across the tri-state area in recent years. In New York City, there were 802 catalytic converter thefts in 2020 compared to 3,705 in 2021 and 8,591 in 2022, according to NYPD statistics. That’s a more than 971% increase in two years.

In the first two months of 2023, the NYPD reported 847 catalytic converter thefts, more than in all of 2020.