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One police department here in Minnesota is trying to help prevent the catalytic converter on your vehicle from being stolen with a special clinic this Saturday.

You've probably been hearing a lot about catalytic converters here in Minnesota lately. And not in a good way. That's because there has been a rash of thieves here in Rochester and across Minnesota stealing this piece of equipment right off your vehicle-- sometimes even in broad daylight. (That just happened to a Rochester woman last Friday while her vehicle was in the Think Bank parking lot off West Circle Drive.)

In case you're not a mechanic, here's a little background on just what a catalytic converter is and why they're being stolen. Allstate Insurance explains that these converters scrub harmful exhaust emissions and turn them into harmless gasses. To do that, they use precious metals like platinum, palladium, or rhodium. And right now, those metals are selling for a LOT of money-- which is why thieves are stealing catalytic converters of vehicles at a rapid pace.

That's also why the Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) is holding a special auto clinic this Saturday to help make the catalytic converter on your car less valuable to thieves. At the clinic, members of the SPPD will crawl under your vehicle and 'mark' the catalytic converter. This step can be a big deterrent in preventing your converter from being stolen because many scrapyards won’t purchase the devices if they’re marked, SPPD says.

The SPPD says the clinic is set for this Saturday, April 10th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the North Lot of Allianz Field Stadium (400 Snelling Ave North, about an hour and a half north of Rochester). SPPD says registration for the event, which is free and open to the public, is encouraged but not required. You can register online here. (SPPD also says the clinic won't held if it's raining, so keep an eye on the department's Twitter accounts Saturday morning in case the event is postponed.)

Catalytic converters are EXPENSIVE to replace-- sometimes running in the thousands of dollars! So even if yours hasn't been stolen (hopefully!) click HERE for your shot at snagging cash-- up to $10,000! And speaking of cars, keep scrolling to check out the iconic cars that were introduced the year you were born!

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LOOK: See the iconic cars that debuted the year you were born