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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Friday April 30th, 2021 :: 03:03 p.m. PDT


Headquarters Station Launches “Etch and Catch” Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Program

Nature of Incident: Headquarters Station Launches “Etch and Catch” Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Program
Location: Ventura and Oxnard Unincorporated Areas
Date & Time: April 30, 2021 @ 3:00 p.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Headquarters Patrol Station – Beat Coordinator / Investigations Bureau
In an effort to deter would-be thieves and to track stolen catalytic converters, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Headquarters Patrol Station 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 either of the below locations:
Auto Tech                                               (805) 988-1923        2872 E. Vineyard Ave.
Gregorio’s Auto Repair                         (805) 278-1382        515 Ventura 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 Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Program Member” sticker to verify they are a participant of this program (See attached photograph).
Recently, 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  the Headquarters Patrol Station Twitter @vcsoventura (
Prepared by: Captain Don Aguilar  
News Release Date: April 30, 2021  
Media Follow-Up Contact:
Approved by:
Sgt. Beau Rodriguez
(805) 767-0360
[email protected]
Captain Victor Medina
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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