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FCPD holds free 'etch & prevent' catalytic converter thefts event Saturday

It takes a thief just a few minutes to saw the catalytic converter out of your car and leave you with thousands of dollars in damage.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Head out to Fairfax County Saturday to get your catalytic converter etched for free as police hold an anti-theft event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Editor's Note: The video above aired Sept. 7, 2022.

The Fairfax County Police Crime Prevention Unit from the Sully District Station has once again partnered with G&C Tire and Auto Service in Chantilly, Virginia to offer free anti-theft labels, which are applied to your catalytic converter in order to deter thieves.

G&C will install these ultra-destruct labels, laser cut with a unique code and the URL of a secure, accredited database — the International Security Register (ISR) — onto your catalytic converter Saturday at their store located at 14008 Willard Road in Chantilly.

Officials say the label will break into pieces if an attempt is made to remove it. In addition, a fluid that etches the metal is applied to the labels so if the label is removed, the code and URL will remain clearly readable.

Fairfax County Second Lt. James Curry said, "We hope that someone who might be inclined to do this type of crime sees this has been etched and maybe moves on to find another victim."

Anyone who drives a Prius, Tacoma, Lexus SUV, Accord or van is advised to come to the event, as these are some of the most targeted cars for catalytic converter thefts. 

Curry added, "We've seen incidents where these thefts occur in the daytime and nighttime and as fast as a couple of minutes so any extra step that we're trying to make available to the community to protect themselves, that's what we're trying to do."

The event is first-come, first-served. No appointment is necessary.

For more information email Megan.Hawkins@fairfaxcounty.gov

Credit: FCPD

The Fairfax County Police Department has hosted several events throughout the year to curb the growing trend of catalytic converter thefts. 

However, the county will likely end the year with an even higher number of thefts.

Here’s a breakdown of data from earlier this year:

  • Jan-March 2022
    • 280 reported incidents of catalytic converter thefts
  • Jan-March 2021
    • 15 reported incidents of catalytic converter thefts

"The reason behind these thefts is the rise in value of the precious metals that are inside the catalytic converters," said Curry. 


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