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'Etch and Catch' event in Newport News aims to help prevent catalytic converter thefts

Exchange Catalytic Converters
Posted at 8:45 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 20:47:25-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise in Hampton Roads in the last few years, and two local police departments are taking action to help people protect their vehicles from being targeted.

The Newport News Police Department and the Hampton Police Division are holding "Etch and Catch," a catalytic converter vehicle identification (VIN) etching event at Newport News City Park, located at 13560 Jefferson Ave., on Saturday, Oct. 23. from 9 to 5 p.m.

You can sign up for the event here.

In the event of inclement weather, the back-up date will be Sunday, October 24.

Catalytic converters are emissions control devices that are in the exhaust system underneath the vehicle. They contain valuable metals, which thieves turn in for cash, and replacing the devices can cost vehicle owners thousands of dollars.

Police have shared some of the ways you can avoid preventing catalytic converter thefts:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Park in a garage or fenced area.
  • Use an alarm or camera to catch thieves.
  • Install an anti-theft device.
  • Report suspicious activity to police.