San Jose police unveil catalytic converter burning program to help deter large-scale theft – CBS San Francisco


SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The spate of catalytic converter thefts has prompted San Jose police and the San Jose Police Foundation to partner with local businesses to launch a program to tag devices with information. identification.

The department’s Etch and Protect program will instruct local auto repair shops to etch or paint the license plate number on a vehicle’s catalytic converter while the vehicle is being serviced. The program is set up in memory of The Nguyen, a San Jose resident who was fatally shot on March 5, 2021, when he confronted two people trying to steal his car’s catalytic converter.

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Thieves target catalytic converters because the precious metals contained in the devices are worth more than an ounce of gold for an ounce. Converters are often resold illegally to repair shops and recycling centers. Recyclers will pay up to $250 per converter while victims will pay an average of $1,000, or their deductible amount, to replace it.

“We are grateful to participating auto repair shops for stepping up their support for this important program,” Police Chief Anthony Mata said in a prepared statement. “We hope this effort will deter catalytic converter theft, which has a serious impact on our local community.”

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The program begins this month at three auto repair shops in San Jose, and the police foundation provides the equipment used for the engraving.

“This program is a great example of a public-private partnership that will make a difference in the lives of San Jose residents,” said a press release from San Jose Police Foundation President Rob Fisher. “By etching identifying information into catalytic converters, we’ll give officers another tool to investigate these thefts and hold thieves accountable, and we’ll protect our neighbors from the burden of an unexpected and costly car repair.”

Three auto repair shops participate in the Etch and Protect program: Capitol Honda at 745 Capitol Expressway, Stevens Creek Toyota at 4202 Steven Creeks Boulevard, and Speedee/Midas at 1825 E. Capitol Expressway.

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