MCC program designed to prevent catalytic converter thefts

Kara Marxer
April 19, 2019 - 6:34 am

Joe Raedle - Getty Images North America

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The automotive technology program is teaming up with the police department at Metropolitian Community College's Longview campus to stop catalytic converter thefts. 

Students in the automotive tech program will be etching VIN numbers on catalytic converters beginning Friday, April 26. Anyone can have the service done for free. They call the program "Etch and Catch."

Thieves like to target parking lots that are full of cars, and after they steal converters, they typically try to sell them for small amounts of precious metals, including platinum, palladium, or rhodium. Some converters can be sold on the black market for hundreds of dollars.

If a scrap dealer sees the VIN number etched and highlighted with bright paint, they will know it was stolen, said Londell Jamerson, MCC campus police chief.

"We're hoping that will deter the theft of that piece of the car," Jamerson said.

A skilled thief can steal a catalytic converter in less than a minute, and they are expensive to replace.

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