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Sentinel staff report–
The Citrus Heights Police Department is teaming up with Pastor Auto Care to offer a free catalytic converter etching event on October 10.
The Saturday event will be held at Pastor Auto Care from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 7920 Old Auburn Rd., at the intersection of Sunrise Boulevard.
Other police departments in the area have also been hosting free etching events, partnering with auto shops to etch vehicle license plate numbers on the outside of catalytic converters to enable the valuable exhaust parts to be traced back to their original owners and hopefully deter theft.
Police Lt. Michael Wells told The Sentinel earlier this year that etching can help police if they find a suspect with a stockpile of likely stolen converters. Without identifiers connecting stolen goods back to their original owners, it can be more difficult for police to prove items have been stolen.
Catalytic converters are part of vehicle exhaust systems that help reduce emissions. Police say thieves will steal the part and sell the raw material inside as scrap.
Police say common targets are Toyota’s and SUVs. Thieves can quickly pull up next to a car, lift up one side with a jack, and then quickly make off with the part in just 1-2 minutes.
The Mercury Newsreported earlier this year that the replacement cost of a catalytic converter on a Prius is about $3,000. Stolen converters from such vehicles fetch $225 to $250.
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