August 20, 2019 3:30 PM

The Santa Monica Police Department is partnering with local businesses to host a FREE catalytic converter etching event where vehicle license plate numbers will be etched onto the heat shield of catalytic converters.  

The event takes place on Thursday, September 5, 2019, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Firestone Complete Auto Care located at 1817 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA.   RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED!

What is a catalytic converter and why would someone want to steal one?

Catalytic converters are a crucial component of your car’s exhaust system. They’re located under the car and attached to the exhaust pipe, typically with bolts. The catalytic converter is designed to reduce the toxicity of emissions from a vehicle’s engine. Catalytic converters are valuable to scrap metal dealers, in part, because they contain precious metals, including rhodium, platinum and palladium.

Etching your converter may deter theft. Catalytic converters do not have unique serial numbers or identifiable markings, making it difficult for law enforcement officers to return the property to the owner when suspects are arrested with these stolen vehicle parts in their possession. The presence of license plate numbers on catalytic converters can provide police with the information needed to identify stolen property, contact victims, and apprehend/prosecute criminals.

This program is open to those who live or work in Santa Monica and while specific vehicles are targeted by thieves, all makes and models are eligible for the program. Registration prior to the event is required, and space is limited.  Register and download a FREE ticket by visiting

This event is co-sponsored by the Santa Monica Police Department, Firestone Complete Auto Care and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts.

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