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Oxnard police partner with local auto shops to etch license plate numbers onto catalytic converters

OXNARD, Calif. - The Oxnard Police Department is teaming up with several local auto repair shops and Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti (DRAGG) to provide free catalytic converter etching services to city residents.

Drivers can go to one of four locations to have their catalytic converters etched and sprayed with their license plate number and an Oxnard Police Department logo.

This comes as catalytic converter thefts continue to rise on the South Coast and Central Coast, as well as across the country.

Ventura County deputies explained that catalytic converters contain expensive precious metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium. These recyclable materials can be easily “scrapped” for hundreds of dollars.

The etchings offered by the police department will help officers track down the owner of a stolen catalytic converter when found.

Appointments for the free etching services begin Saturday, May 1, at the following locations during their normal working hours:

  • AV Tire Service located at 1610 South Oxnard Boulevard - 805-385-1192
  • Big Brand Tires located at 1313 South Oxnard Boulevard - 805-487-7883
  • Big Brand Tires located at 531 East Ventura Boulevard - 805-822-5555
  • Kenz Muffler located at 2818 West Wooley Road - 805-984-8187

A kickoff event hosted by members of the Oxnard Police Department and DRAGG will also take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DRAGG facility located at 300 Graves Avenue in Oxnard.

Oxnard police said they plan to service 20 to 30 vehicles during the kickoff.

Residents who are unable to attend the event or are limited on time can schedule a later appointment with one of the partnering automotive shops.

The Oxnard Police Department would like to thank all of the automotive repair businesses for partnering with them to offer this program.

If you own or operate an automotive repair shop and would like to offer this service to the community, you can reach out to Detective Alvarez at 805-385-7664.

Ventura County Sheriff's deputies have offered the following tips for deterring the theft of your catalytic converters:

  • Park in a secured garage when possible or in a well-lit area with surveillance cameras and/or where the vehicle will be seen by passersby.
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting to illuminate driveways used for parking.
  • Consider adding security cameras to oversee driveway and on-street parking areas.
  • Engrave your vehicle's VIN number onto your catalytic converter to make it easier to track if stolen.
  • Research catalytic converter anti-theft devices and weigh the pros of having one installed.
Ventura County
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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