Chico PD: Thwart Cat Thieves with “Etch & Catch” Program

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In recent months, our community has experienced a significant number of thefts of Catalytic Converters, primarily from Toyota trucks and SUV’s. Thieves steal Catalytic Converters due to the value of the precious metals contained inside them. The Toyota trucks and SUV’s are most common as the converters are more easily accessed. The stolen converters are later sold to salvage yards or scrap metal dealers.

In an effort to combat this trend, the Chico Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit, in association with Prolube Oil Change Center at 2485 Notre Dame Blvd. will offer citizens an opportunity to have their catalytic converter’s etched with the vehicle’s license plate number, Vehicle Identification Number or other serial number. This program is being called “Etch and Catch.”

The “Etch and Catch” event will take place this Sunday, September 25th from 12 noon until 4 p.m. at the Prolube Oil Change Center at 2485 Notre Dame Blvd.

Thieves typically sell stolen Catalytic Converters to scrap metal dealers. Since most Catalytic Converters are not serialized, it is difficult to trace the item back to the owner. Most legitimate scrap metal dealers take steps to ensure that they are not buying stolen property. The presence of an owner applied number on a catalytic converter is a signal to a scrap metal dealer that the item may be stolen. Further, the Vehicle ID Number or license number will make it easier for Police to trace the item back to the owner.

Again, the “Etch and Catch” event will take place this Sunday, the 25th at the Prolube Oil Change center at 2485 Notre Dame Blvd in Chico. The “Etch and Catch” event will be held on a first come, first served basis. Anyone who would like further information may contact Crime Prevention Officer Tim Truby at 897-4942.

-from press release
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