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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Thursday March 4th, 2021 :: 04:30 p.m. PST


Thousand Oaks Police Department Launches “Etch and Catch” Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Program

Nature of Incident: Thousand Oaks Police Department Launches “Etch and Catch” Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Program
Location: Thousand Oaks
Date & Time: March 4, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Thousand Oaks Police Department – Intelligence Led Policing Unit (ILP)
In an effort to deter would-be thieves and to track stolen catalytic converters, the Thousand Oaks Police Department has teamed up with several local automotive businesses to participate in the “Etch and Catch” anti-theft program. The goal is to deter a potential thief who might be planning to steal your vehicle’s catalytic converter.
Here’s how it works:  The below listed businesses have agreed to etch your license plate number and paint a Sheriff’s star on your catalytic converter, free of charge.  When thieves see the painted Sheriff’s star and engraved license plate number, this hopefully will deter them to leave your car alone.  If they are bold enough to still steal your catalytic converter, then law enforcement or a scrap yard will be able to recognize the catalytic converter as stolen, based on the markings. Area scrap yards should not accept a catalytic converter with these markings, nor should they accept them with evidence of the markings being partially or completely removed. 
For more information on the program click on video link:  You can call to make an “Etch and Catch” appointment at any of the below locations:
Skyline Auto Repair                             (805) 778-0060        50 N. Skyline Drive #4
American Muffler, Brake & Radiator  (805) 495-8514        1320 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Ricks Japanese Car Care                    (805) 373-9895        37 Taylor Court
Conejo Precision Auto Repair            (805) 496-9421        50 N. Skyline Drive #5 & 6
Reed’s Automotive                              (805) 374-9221        57 Taylor Court, Suite A
Preferred Auto Centre                         (805) 373-1223        3111 Thousand Oaks Blvd. #6
 Bender’s Automotive                          (805) 376-2497           308 Giant Oak Avenue
Conejo Valley Auto Center                 (805) 342-0606           2561 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks Toyota                      (805) 497-2791           2401 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
When you call for your appointment, make sure to mention it is for the “Etch and Catch” program.
We thank all our “Etch and Catch” partners for their collaboration to reduce catalytic converter thefts. The list of automotive businesses may expand in the coming weeks.  Without their help, this program would not be possible. The next time you are at a local automotive business, check for the “Thousand Oaks Police Department Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Program Member” sticker to verify they are a participant of this program (See attached photograph).
Between 1/1/2020 and 2/18/2021, the top 10 vehicles targeted for catalytic converter thefts in Ventura County Sheriff’s jurisdictions (Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Camarillo, Ojai, Fillmore, and unincorporated areas) are:  Toyota Prius, Ford F250, Honda Element, Ford F350, Honda Accord, Ford Econoline, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Express, Chevrolet Astro Van, Ford Excursion
Many people have asked what they can do to help protect their vehicles. Here are some tips to help prevent catalytic converter thefts:
  1. Make an appointment to have your license plate number engraved and Sheriff’s star painted on your catalytic converter at one of the above listed “Etch and Catch” program locations.
  2. 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 a passerby.
  3. Install motion-sensitive lighting to illuminate driveways used for parking.
  4. Consider adding security cameras to oversee driveway and on-street parking areas.
  5. Research catalytic converter anti-theft devices and weigh the pros and cons of having one installed.
We are asking for the community’s support to prevent catalytic converter thefts. If you hear strange noises during the night, such as power tools or sawing, if you see a vehicle driving suspiciously slow through your neighborhood or stopped at the side of the road, or if you see/hear ANYTHING out of the ordinary, please dial 9-1-1.  Oftentimes, cases are solved when an observant resident calls dispatch immediately when something doesn’t seem quite right.
Follow us to receive messages, alerts, and other important neighborhood/community information on “Thousand Oaks Police Department” and Twitter @toaksvcso.
Prepared by: Sergeant Dillan Alvarez  
News Release Date: March 4, 2021  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Senior Deputy Rob Brady
(805) 947-8111
[email protected]
Approved by:
Captain Don Aguilar
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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