CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Trying to combat catalytic converter theft in the Central Valley, local law awarded 270 million dollars to law enforcement statewide.

Over 26 million dollars will stay in the Central Valley and 6.1 million will go to the Clovis Police Department.

“My customers come and they turn on the car and I don’t even know the catalytic converter is cut off because it is on the bottom and we turn it on and it sounds like a tractor,” said Osama Yasin.

Osama Yasin is the general manager of American Auto Credit, a car dealership on Blackstone Avenue. He says over the past few years they’ve lost thousands of dollars in damage to cars for sale on his lot.

“We’ve dealt with about 40 thousand dollars in catalytic converters, we’ve had quite many taken, we came in one day and there were like eight gone,” said Yasin.

Catalytic converter theft is up and businesses are losing out.

“Sometimes it cuts into the cost too much where we can’t make any money,” he adds. 

“Over the last several years our catalytic converters have increased over 250 percent, our retail theft crime, organized crime-related to felonies and cases have gone up over 30 percent,” said Police Chief Curt Fleming.

Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming says the numbers are jarring, and they’ll be working closely with the Fresno Police Department to bring theft down.

“We share common criminals we work together all the time, I think this task force is gonna make us that much more better at communication and sharing of intelligence,” said Chief Fleming.

The grant will give Fresno police 15.6 million. Clovie Police will receive 6.1 million, which will allow them to add five new police officers, the equipment they need, new vehicles, and one crime analyst who will work directly with those officers.

“We’ve been doing everything we can with the resources we have but I think working in conjunction with Fresno PD, the DA’s office, and probation along with the funding is going help us in combating these issues,” said Chief Fleming.

“We really do appreciate the grant and were looking forward to hopefully putting a complete stop to it, we understand things happen but it’s a really good step forward,” said Yasin.

All of this money will be distributed over the next three years.

Some of the money starts rolling in as early as Oct. 1.