Drivers in Pasadena get free catalytic converter etching to stop rise in theft

According to the Department of Justice, California accounts for more than 35% of all catalytic converter thefts nationwide.

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Sunday, January 8, 2023
Pasadena drivers get free catalytic converter etching to stop theft
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The Pasadena Police Department along with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department held a free catalytic converter etching event Saturday in an effort to bring down the growing number of thefts.

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department along with the Pasadena Police Department held a free catalytic converter etching event Saturday in an effort to bring down the growing number of thefts.

The event was held at Toyota Pasadena, free of charge.

Drivers who attended the event, who many said were once a victim of catalytic converter theft, were able to get their vehicle's factory Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) engraved on the part.

This helps officers easily identify victims if thieves ever steal their catalytic converter.

According to the Department of Justice, California accounts for more than 35% of all catalytic converter thefts nationwide. The agency said approximately 1,600 catalytic converters were stolen across the state each month last year.

"Inside the catalytic converter, there are a lot of precious metals inside," said Capt. Jabari Williams with the Altadena Sheriff's Station. "Right now, those metals are in big demand, so the prices of them are up. So people are stealing these catalytic converters so they can recycle it for those precious metals inside."

Earlier this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two new bills that make it harder to steal and sell catalytic converters in California.

The new laws - Senate Bill 1087 and Assembly Bill 1740 - will make it illegal to buy the parts from anyone other than licensed auto dismantlers or dealers.

Depending on the load of precious metals in each catalytic converter, authorities said thieves can make hundreds of dollars selling them at recycling facilities.