Folsom Police Department partners with local businesses to help prevent catalytic converter thefts.
Catalytic converters have become a hot commodity for thieves because of their value, relative ease to steal (unbolt or cut out), and lack of identifying markings. The lack of identification makes it hard to identify victims and successfully apprehend and prosecute criminals.
Thieves take stolen catalytic converters to metal recyclers. The recyclers will pay up to $250 per converter for the precious metals inside them. Victims, however, will pay an average of $1000 (or their deductible) to replace it.
While any vehicle manufactured after 1974 can be considered a target for catalytic converter thieves, the most targeted vehicles are typically:
Trucks and SUV's - Because trucks and SUVs are higher off the ground, thieves do not need to jack the vehicle up to slide underneath and remove the catalytic converter.
Light vehicles - Lighter vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius are a target vehicle because they can be quickly jacked up off the ground to remove the catalytic converter.
Catalytic converter thieves are very quick - some have been known to steal a catalytic converter in less than two minutes. Some of the most common places that they target vehicles are:
Driveways or Streets - Catalytic converter thieves will target vehicles parked on driveways or streets, especially at night and if the driveways or street is not lit since there is less chance that they will be seen.
Auto Dealer Lots - Auto dealer lots are targets, especially at night when thieves may target lots of vehicles in a short period of time. Some lots have reported having as many as 20 catalytic converters stolen in one night.
Parking Lots - Large parking lots may also be targets for catalytic converter thieves. Catalytic converter thieves have been known to steal catalytic converters during the day at these locations. A look out will stand watch while another person steals the catalytic converter from the vehicle.
- Park your vehicle inside your garage or in secure side yard.
- If you have to park outside, leave on exterior lights or install motion detector lights.
- Get your catalytic converter etched with your license plate number. Folsom Police Department's Etch and Catch Program partners will provide free etching of your license plate number on your catalytic converter while they are doing other maintenance work on your vehicle and have the car on a lift. Click here to learn more about the Etch and Catch Program.
- Install a cage around your catalytic converter or have additional metal welded to your exhaust system. This makes it more difficult for thieves to remove the catalytic converter.
- Report suspicious activity in your neighborhood. If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1. Call 916-355-7231 to report suspicious activity.
The Folsom Police Department has partnered with local auto mechanics for its Etch and Catch program. The Etch and Catch partners will etch your vehicle's license plate number and use heat resistant paint to paint identifying information on your catalytic converter for free while they conduct any vehicle maintenance that may have your vehicle up on a lift.
By placing identifying information on your catalytic converter, it acts as a deterrent to thieves. The information on the catalytic converter also makes it more difficult for them to recycle the catalytic converter.
The following businesses are current Folsom Police Department Etch and Catch Partners. If you are an automotive business owner who wishes to partner with the Folsom Police Department Etch and Catch program, please contact Corporal John Triplett at email@example.com.
Folsom Autotech, 1126 Sibley Street, Suite A, Folsom, CA 95630
Folsom Car Care Center, 520 Natoma Station Drive, Folsom, CA 95630