Tacoma police offer free engraving on catalytic converters to prevent theft

Nov 18, 2022, 7:40 AM
catalytic converter...
A brand new catalytic converter sits on a car lift at Johnny Franklin's Muffler on July 11, 2022 in San Rafael, California. Thefts of catalytic converters are surging across the nation as thieves seek out precious metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium that fill the inside of the antipollution car part. Thefts have nearly tripled since the beginning of the pandemic with over 50,000 in 2021 compared to under 20,000 in 2020. Vehicle owners are having to pay thousands of dollars to replace the stolen parts and in some cases can't get the parts due to supply chain issues. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Tacoma Police and local dealerships are joining together Friday to offer free identification engraving on catalytic converters.

The event is open to everyone, with no reservation required.

West Coast crime ring busted for trafficking $22 million in stolen catalytic converters

The engraving is a part of Project CATCON ID, a Tacoma Law Enforcement initiative supported by the National Insurance Criminal Bureau.

Tacoma joins several other local police departments in offering the service because catalytic converter theft has become a common problem for law enforcement.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there were 12 times as many successful converter thefts in 2021 than in 2019. And in March, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1815 to require proof of ownership before someone may sell a catalytic converter as scrap metal.

Tacoma PD Public Information Officer Wendy Haddow says they are easy to steal because “right now, as it comes from the factory, there are no identifying numbers on it.”

Catalytic converters are frequently in demand because the devices contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

“We are hoping for a steady crowd,” said Haddow of the engraving event. “We’ll do as many vehicles as we can get to. Generally, the procedure takes between 15 and 20 minutes to complete.”

The event is being held Nov. 18 between 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Titus-Will Toyota, 3506 S. Sprague Ave., and Simmons Automotive, 5601 S. Proctor St. Vehicles will be taken on a first come – first served basis.

“Ultimately, by adding an owner-applied number, especially in mass, this will improve law enforcement efforts locally and nationally,” Tacoma PD said in a press release.

Catalytic converter theft has become a nationwide problem. Earlier this week, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Prevent Auto Recycling Theft Act.

The Federal legislation would require a vehicle identification number (VIN) to be stamped on all converters, making it easier to trace stolen parts back to their vehicle. The bill would also provide federal dollars to help defray the cost of events to etch VIN numbers onto converters already in use.

Local News

newspaper carrier...
Sam Campbell

Newspaper carrier takes stand in Pierce County Sheriff trial

Troyer is accused of false reporting after he told 911 dispatchers the man, later identified as Sedrick Altheimer, threatened to kill him.
16 hours ago
christmas trees...
Micki Gamez

Christmas trees cost upwards of $300 in some parts of Seattle

Christmas tree prices have gone up about 10% or more across the country. The price some Christmas trees will cost upwards of $300 or more.
16 hours ago
missing girl...
Darren Dedo

Missing girl turns 6, reward to find her grows to $85,000

Although Dec. 6 is the day she was first reported missing last year, little Oakley Carlson hasn't been seen since Feb. 2021.
16 hours ago
Seattle weather Eliott Bay...
Bill Kaczaraba

The beauty of Seattle weather emerges from the cloudy skies

Seattle is finally getting a break from all this wintry weather, even though winter itself is a couple of weeks away.
16 hours ago
FILE - A Boeing 747-8, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011...
Associated Press

Boeing’s last 747 to roll out of Washington state factory

After more than half a century, Boeing is set to roll its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday.
16 hours ago
(Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County)...
Colleen West, KIRO 7 News

Tacoma shelter to take in more than 40 cats, kittens living in same home, some inside walls

The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County is taking in dozens of cats and kittens that were found living in the same home, with some of the cats living inside walls.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Tacoma police offer free engraving on catalytic converters to prevent theft