Program in Fairfax Co. engraves catalytic converters with anti-crime labels, shows results

There’s some progress to report in Fairfax County’s battle against the theft of catalytic converters — a valuable, yet easy-to-remove part in a car’s emissions system.

Thieves target catalytic converters because they’re particularly valuable and the crime has surged in the county this year compared to last.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis told WTOP’s DMV Download podcast that police had made arrests since the effort launched in June to engrave identifying information onto the devices.

“We formed a Catalytic Converter Task Force. These catalytic converters and the precious metals are worth so much [and] we’ve greatly slowed the thefts of catalytic converters,” Chief Davis said.

Local auto body shops have begun offering free engravings of the anti-theft labels to aid police in identifying stolen parts.

“We’ve partnered with some local body shops. They’re engraving some catalytic converters for folks … with identifying marks so that we can recover them and tie them to a particular crime,” Chief Davis said.

In addition, Chief Davis said the police department started a full-time auto-theft team, which goes by “A Squad.”

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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