Residents can etch catalytic converters March 12 in Oceanside

Event planned as Carlsbad, Encinitas act to punish thefts


A stainless steel catalytic converter with an oxygen sensor or O2 sensor is shown installed on an exhaust system under a vehicle. Catalytic converters have become a target for theft in the past few years. (Photo by Tony Savino, iStock Getty Images)


The Oceanside Police Department invites residents to get their vehicles’ catalytic converters etched for identification Saturday, March 12, as the region continues to experience an unprecedented number of catalytic converter thefts.

“This event is a part of a multifaceted strategy that the Oceanside Police Department has implemented to address the uptick in catalytic converter thefts occurring nationwide,” the department stated in a March 2 announcement.

The etching event is among tactics being taken by coastal North San Diego County cities to stem the thefts, which have increased with the value of the metals they contain.

Oceanside News logo“Catalytic converters are vehicle parts that contain valuable platinum group metals like rhodium, iridium, and palladium,” the department stated. “The increase in these thefts coincides with the increase in the cost for these precious metals and the increase in demand for catalytic converters due to increasing vehicle emission regulation.”

In January, Carlsbad became the first city in the county to enact an ordinance aimed at curtailing the thefts, which have increased 423% in the county from 2020 to 2021, according to city statistics.

Carlsbad’s law makes it illegal to possess any such device not attached to a vehicle without valid proof of ownership. Violations are a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

The Encinitas City Council moved forward on drafting a similar ordinance at the end of February.

Catalytic converters, which can be stolen from under a vehicle in minutes using common tools, are designed to reduce toxic pollutants by converting them into safer gasses.

“Matching a stolen catalytic converter to the vehicle it was stolen from, is an important step in the pursuit of a criminal case against the thieves,” Oceanside Police stated in its announcement. “Police are urging car owners to engrave their vehicle’s identification number on their converter to link the part to their vehicle.”

Oceanside’s engraving event is set for March 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Len’s Auto Body located at 510 Jones Road in Oceanside.

Registration is required. Contact the Oceanside Police Department Public at 760-277-5237 for information.

OsideNews is an Oceanside news site affiliated with the North Coast Current.

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