135 catalytic converters etched at police event

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Rocklin Police in partnership with the Sierra College Auto Club conducted ?Operation Etch and Catch? to combat catalytic converter theft on April 28. Catalytic converters, copper, and other metals have grown increasingly popular among thieves because of their value, relative ease to steal, and lack of identifying information. During the free 5-hour event, identification numbers were etched onto the catalytic converters of 135 vehicles. The etching was highlighted by bright-colored heat-resistant spray paint. The owner of each vehicle was issued a bright and highly visible sticker to affix to the rear window or bumper that reads, ?This vehicle?s catalytic converter has been etched by the Rocklin Police Department.? These stickers are meant to deter criminals who drive through neighborhoods and shopping centers looking for potential victims. A vehicle's license plate number etched onto the catalytic converter can provide police with the information needed to identify stolen property, contact victims, and apprehend and prosecute criminals. It also makes it easier for metal recyclers to identify people are attempting to sell stolen items. People who attended the event came from all over the Placer and Sacramento County region. Many were prior victims of catalytic converter theft; one participant had been victimized four times. Rocklin Police offered a special thank you to the event sponsors: Superfast Signs, Big Daddy?s Pizza Co., Kona Coffee Café, Starbucks, WAVE Broadband, the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce, Lowe?s in Folsom, and Minuteman Press in Roseville. As part of an on-going campaign to reduce catalytic converter thefts, the Rocklin Police Department and the Sierra College Auto Club will host free catalytic converter etching events twice a year at the Sierra College campus in Rocklin. The next Operation Etch and Catch Event will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3. Call the Rocklin Police Department Catalytic Converter Hotline at (916) 625-5418 to reserve one of the 300 spots during the November event.