The Los Angeles Police Department has introduced new technology to combat catalytic converter thefts. They have held events for vehicle identification numbers to be etched onto catalytic converters, making them easier to track if stolen. The new Insta-Etch marking device will engrave digits automatically using high-temperature spray paint. The device is portable and Bluetooth-enabled, and the LAPD plans to hold monthly etching events for public access. The service is free and templates reading “Marked by LAPD” will be added to deter theft. The department is seeking more funding to increase access to the devices. Catalytic converters are targeted due to their precious metal content.
As stated by The Brunswick News, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has unveiled new technology to combat the surge of catalytic converter thefts. This new technology aims to make it harder for thieves to steal the valuable emission control device, which has become a popular target due to its high concentration of precious metals.
To address this issue, the LAPD has already organized events where car owners can have their vehicle identification numbers (VINs) etched onto their catalytic converters. This process makes it easier to track the car parts if they are stolen. However, the department is taking it a step further by introducing a new Insta-Etch marking device. This handheld, portable, and Bluetooth-enabled device automatically engraves all the digits onto the catalytic converter using a high-temperature spray paint.
The LAPD recently showcased this new device at a press event and plans to hold monthly etching events in the future to provide public access to the technology. The service is free to the public, but the department is actively seeking additional funding to increase access to these devices.
In addition to the etching technology, the LAPD is also implementing other measures to deter catalytic converter theft. Car parts will be emblazoned with templates that read “Marked by LAPD,” serving as a visible deterrent. The department is also promoting the use of anti-theft devices such as catalytic cable shields, cages, and car alarms.
The need for such measures arises from the alarming increase in catalytic converter thefts in Los Angeles. As stated by Police Chief Michel Moore, there has been a “stark increase” in such incidents in 2023 compared to the previous year. In the first five weeks of 2023 alone, there were 406 more reported incidents compared to the same period in 2022.
Catalytic converters are targeted by thieves due to the valuable metals they contain. These devices play a crucial role in reducing vehicle emissions and are a vital component of the exhaust system. However, the rising demand for precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium has made catalytic converters a lucrative target for criminals.
With the introduction of the new Insta-Etch marking device and the ongoing efforts of the LAPD, car owners in Los Angeles can hope for better protection against catalytic converter theft. By making it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen catalytic converters and increasing the chances of recovery, this technology aims to deter criminals and safeguard valuable emission control devices. The LAPD’s commitment to holding monthly etching events and exploring additional funding s demonstrates their dedication to tackling this issue and ensuring the safety of the community’s vehicles.