RICHMOND, Va. (WVVA) - Vehicle and part theft cost Virginians millions of dollars every year.
A program formed by the Virginia State Police was designed to educate the public about theft of vehicles and their parts.
According to program officials, although auto and part theft has decreased by more than 60%, plenty can still be done to help eliminate auto theft.
Catalytic converter theft is on the rise prompting the Virginia State Police to ramp public awareness, even offering up to a $25,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of those accused of stealing the vital motor vehicle part.
The Help Eliminate Auto Theft Program or H.E.A.T also trains and supports local law enforcement officers to help combat auto theft.
First Class Sgt. Keeli Hill is HEAT Insurance Fraud Program Coordinator with the Virginia State Police.
"We do have a committee that reviews each by case scenario, and determine the value," she said. "But when get into the larger realm of talking about the larger reward money, you are looking at larger case load, it can develop into larger jurisdictions, multiple arrests, multiple chop-shops. It varies, it's depending on the scale of the investigation is how that gets determined."
The VSP hope the incentive will urge the public to report anyone involved in a "chop shop" type activity, or linked to the theft of catalytic converters.
Anyone with tips or have information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in these types of crime can call (800) 947-HEAT (4328) or click here.