Naperville Police Holding Catalytic Converter Theft Deterrent Event

file image of undercarriage of car and catalytic converter
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The Naperville Police Department is partnering with Cassidy Tire & Service for an event to help deter catalytic converter theft.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Desirable to Thieves?

This section of the car’s exhaust system contains precious metals, which thieves can illegally sell for cash. It can take as little as 30 seconds for a converter to be removed.

“Tat A Cat” To Deter Theft

During the three-hour “Tat a Cat” event, Cassidy employees will put a unique ID number on the catalytic converters in the vehicles brought in by participants. This will be done using a high-temperature automotive exhaust spray paint.

Doing so can serve as a deterrent to potential thieves, as it decreases the resale value of the part, helps police link the part to a specific vehicle to identify if it has been stolen, and alerts auto shops that the part may have been illegally taken.

Event Details

The event will take place November 13 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participation is free but registration on the “A Safer Naper” website is required as there are limited spots.

The event is for Naperville residents only. Those taking part must have proof that their vehicle is registered in Naperville. The NPD will keep a record of the vehicles brought in for the event on file in case a catalytic converter is ever stolen.

Timely Topic

The event was prompted by a number of recent incidents. The NPD says between July 1 and October 1, they responded to 48 catalytic converter thefts in Naperville. It’s a problem on a national level. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says the thefts increased by over 1000 percent across the U.S. from 2018 to 2020.

Additional Tips to Deter Theft

Naperville police offer the following list of extra precautions you can take.

  • Park in a well-lit area or garage.
  • Watch for suspicious people around you. Thieves often will set up a lookout person while the other gets underneath the car.
  • Keep an ear out for power tool sounds, especially overnight.
  • Always lock your car and set the alarm. Catalytic converter alarms are also available for extra security.
  • Call 911 if you see any suspicious behavior or activity.
  • Paint the catalytic converter with high temperature automotive exhaust spray in a bright color.

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.

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