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.
We're joining @HamptonVAPolice for a catalytic converter VIN etching event Saturday. The event aims to prevent the theft of catalytic converters. For prevention tips, visit https://t.co/z1pFxCH9QI pic.twitter.com/TgvjtxePU2— Newport News Police Department (@NewportNewsPD) October 21, 2021
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.