Tustin patrol officers were dispatched to a catalytic converter theft which recently occurred. A witness provided a license plate for the suspect vehicle.
Detectives surveilled the suspect’s associated address in another city and actually located him driving the vehicle.
The stolen catalytic converter was located inside the suspect’s vehicle and it was returned back to the victim before the clock struck midnight.
The suspect was arrested and booked at Orange County Jail for Grand Theft and Possession of Burglary Tools.
How can I protect my vehicle from catalytic converter theft?
Install a theft prevention device on your catalytic converter – A licensed auto shop can install a protective plate, shield, clamp, cage, strap, or other device to secure your catalytic converter. The device must be properly installed to avoid any damage to the catalytic converter and ensure all identifying information is visible. The device should not be welded or attached directly to the catalytic converter.
Mark your catalytic converter – Engraving or etching your catalytic converter with your vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number may deter theft. It may also alert a reputable scrap dealer that the device is stolen and can help to identify the owner. If you choose to also have your catalytic converter painted with bright, fluorescent paint, be sure that the paint does not cover any identifying information. Check with your local law enforcement agency for information on any upcoming no-cost engraving/etching events.
- Adjust your vehicle’s alarm – A well-calibrated alarm can detect vibration and alert you or scare thieves away.
- Park your vehicle in a safe location – If you have a garage, use it. Consider installing motion-sensitive lights if you park in your driveway. Park close to a building entrance or in a well-lit and high-traffic area when parking in a public lot.