Correction: The name of Advance Auto Parts was listed incorrectly in a previous version of this story.

A partnership between the Sandy Springs Police Department and three auto parts and service centers has been formed to combat catalytic converter thefts.

The department joined with Advance Auto Parts, Pep Boys, and True Automotive so that city residents can get part of their vehicle’s VIN number etched onto the catalytic converter. The etching will then be highlighted by high-temperature, flame-proof paint, supplied by Advance Auto Parts, a Police Department spokesperson said.

The service is being provided at no cost.

Catalytic converter theft is a nationwide problem. Thieves steal the catalytic converters and sell them for quick cash, leaving the car owner with a big repair bill.

Sandy Springs residents can take their vehicles to Pep Boys at 6521 Roswell Road or True Automotive at 6569 Roswell Road and have part of their VIN etched into the catalytic converter. Residents will need to call Pep Boys or True Automotive to schedule an appointment.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.