Duncanville Police Department Has A ‘Plan” to Combat Theft of Catalytic Converter

mechanic working on catalytic converter
Photo courtesy Duncanville Police Department

Operation Etch & Sketch March 27, 2021

With as little as 90 seconds a thief can steal the catalytic converter off your vehicle! Recently a reader shared there’s was stolen while they were getting their COVID-19 vaccine. They were shocked it happened in broad daylight in a public parking lot.

Trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are prime targets for thieves looking to steal catalytic converters. The catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system located underneath the vehicle and is designed to reduce the toxicity of emissions from an internal combustion engine. Thieves steal the catalytic converters because they contain small amounts of precious metals including platinum – which is worth up to $1,290 an ounce; palladium – which is worth up to $2,300 an ounce; and rhodium – which can trade for up to $24,000 an ounce on the market.

Trucks and SUVs have been specifically targeted due to their higher stock ground clearance levels. Owners often only realize their catalytic converter has been stolen when they hear an abnormally loud exhaust noise upon starting their vehicle.


Thieves can steal the converters in as little as 90 seconds and while it may be fast an convenient for the thief. Unfortunately, the cost to the owner for replacement of these devices can range between $900 and $2,000. Catalytic converters do not have serial numbers or identifiable markings making it very difficult for law enforcement officers to return the property to the owner when suspects are arrested with these stolen vehicle parts in their possession.


But, the Duncanville Police Department has a plan to help combat these thefts. Duncanville Police Department is offering FREE etching on catalytic converters. This identifiable etching will help law enforcement officers identify the victim of the theft and return the property to the owner. At this time, we are going to be etching the vehicle’s license plate number on the converter till we come up with a better system to etch the entire VIN.

City Hall Parking Lot, 3/27/2021 9-noon

This FREE service will be offered on Saturday, March 27, 2021, between 9 am to noon. We just wanted other police agencies to be aware of this so if they run across converters that have etched numbers or find grind marks on the converters this may be where a license plate number or VIN had been etched.


Event will be Saturday, March 27th, 2021, 9am to noon at 203 E. Wheatland Rd.(City Hall Parking Lot) Duncanville, Texas 75116.


If you want more information on this program please contact Officer Doug Sisk with the Duncanville Police Crime Prevention office at (972) 780-5027 or by email at dsisk@duncanvillepd.com.