🚗 Union County is offering a free catalytic converter etching program this month

🚗 The goal is to help stop the recent rise in converter thefts

🚗 The program will be offered at six county locations

To combat the recent rise in converter thefts, Union County is launching a comprehensive catalytic converter etching program later this month, according to the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

The program, which aims to deter theft and aid in the recovery of stolen converters will be held at six locations throughout Union County on Saturday, Jan. 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Catalytic converter thefts have become a serious issue in our communities, causing significant financial hardship for victims,” Union County Prosecutor William Daniel said.
He added that uniquely marking each converter, makes them less attractive to thieves and significantly increases the chances of recovery.

The program, being offered by the Union County Municipal Task Force, an initiative by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office in conjunction with the Union County Police Chiefs Association and in partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, local municipalities, law enforcement agencies, and local businesses, will be held at the following locations:

Massive catalytic converter theft ring busted (ICE) DG Auto Parts arrests Khanna NJ
Massive catalytic converter theft ring busted (ICE)

Autoland – 170 US 22, Springfield

Westfield Department of Public Works – 959 W. North Ave., Westfield

Rahway Department of Public Works – 999 Hart St., Rahway

Union Police Department Headquarters – 981 Caldwell Ave., Union

Home Town Tire & Auto – 416 E. Elizabeth Ave., Linden

Wave Car Wash – 178 Terrill Rd., Plainfield

Why are catalytic converters getting stolen?

Catalytic converters are found under the car as part of the exhaust system. They contain precious metals like platinum and rhodium which are often sold to scrap yards.

In many of the incidents, the thefts usually occur when car owners are sleeping. It’s a quick theft because converters can be clipped off vehicles in a matter of minutes.

At each location, trained professionals will use a high-tech etching process to permanently mark each catalytic converter with a unique identification code and high-visibility spray paint. These markings allow the catalytic converters to be easily traced back to the vehicle, as well as making it much more difficult for thieves to sell or dispose of the stolen converters.

Screengrab: YouTube, New Jersey 101.5
Screengrab: YouTube, New Jersey 101.5

The program is free and open to all Union County residents. Appointments, however, are required. Law enforcement officials will be on-site to answer any questions you may have about catalytic converter theft prevention.

“We are committed to working with our partners and the community to address this issue head-on. By taking these preventive measures and participating in the etching program, we can send a strong message to thieves that Union County is not an easy target,” said Union County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives Dr. Harvey Barnwell.

For more information about the Catalytic Converter Etching Program, please visit the Union County Prosecutor’s Office website.

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