Launch of the Etch & Catch operation on October 8


The Takoma Park Police Department will officially launch Operation: Etch & Catch, a catalytic converter anti-theft program, on Friday, October 8, according to an emailed community notice.

Public Information Officer Cathy Plevy appeared on Takoma Radio earlier this month to announce the new program, which involves carving license plate numbers into catalytic converters, in a bid to make units expensive. to their owners in the event of theft.

“In an effort to deter would-be thieves and to track stolen catalytic converters, the Takoma Park Police Department has partnered with RS Automotive on Carroll Avenue and Lowe’s,” the community advisory read. “People who want their catalytic converters engraved and painted can visit RS Automotive, 7224 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, Md., To have their license plate number engraved on their catalytic converter, free of charge. Appointment required after launch date – 301-270-4418.

“Our goal is to deter would-be thieves looking to steal catalytic converters. If your catalytic converter is stolen and recovered, law enforcement will be able to trace the catalytic converter based on the markings.

“When you call to make an appointment, be sure to mention the ‘Etch and Catch’ program. Also note that the company has the right to refuse service.

“We would like to thank RS Automotive for partnering with us on this crime prevention tool. Without their help, this program would not be possible. As a community, we need to work together to prevent crime, and this store has gone above and beyond. We hope other automotive companies in the Takoma Park area will join us. We would also like to thank Lowe’s for donating the tools to help us with this program.

“The main vehicle in the Takoma fleet targeted for its catalytic converter thefts was the Toyota Prius.

“A lot of people have asked what they can do to help protect their vehicles. Here are some tips to help prevent catalytic converter theft:

  • Make an appointment to have your license plate number engraved on your catalytic converter at RS Automotive as part of the “Etch and Catch” program.
  • Park in a secure garage when possible or in a well-lit area with surveillance cameras and / or where the vehicle will be seen by a passer-by.
  • Install motion sensitive lighting to illuminate driveways used for parking.
  • Consider adding security cameras to monitor driveways and on-street parking areas.
  • Look for catalytic converter anti-theft devices and weigh the pros and cons of having one installed.

“We are asking for the help of our community to prevent catalytic converter theft and to help apprehend the suspects. If you hear strange noises during the night, such as power tools or sawing, if you see a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road next to a parked vehicle, if you see or hear ANYTHING abnormal, please call (301) 270 -1100. “

Graphic courtesy of Takoma Park Police Department

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