Catalytic Converter Thefts
The Habersham County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division
has developed "Operation CAT Scratch" in response to the significant number
of catalytic converter thefts occurring throughout the State of Georgia. This
operation is a theft deterrent measure that will assist law enforcement in
identifying a stolen catalytic converter based on an orange marking and an
individual I.D. number etched into the converter.
Residents of Habersham County can participate in this operation by visiting any
of our participating partners. This service is provided free of charge when a customer visits
our participating partners for an oil change or other service appointment. The business will
paint the catalytic converter with a High-heat resistant orange paint and then etch the last
8 digits of your vehicle's VIN into the Catalytic Converter. They will then record the vehicle
owner information and turn the information over to the Sheriff's Office to be entered into a
database maintained by the Criminal Investigations Division.
By participating in this operation, a thief will think twice before attempting to steal any
converter marked with orange paint. Additionally, the special paint and etching will allow law
enforcement to match the converter to a particular vehicle listed in the database, contact the
owner or search for a stolen converter incident report that has already been filed, and have
the necessary evidence needed to arrest and successfully prosecute the individual caught
with the converter in his or her possession.
A catalytic converter is a device that looks like a small muffler along the exhaust system.
It is designed to convert the environmentally hazardous exhaust emitted by the engine and
convert them into less harmful gasses. To do this, they use platinum, palladium, or rhodium.
In recent years the value of these precious metals have skyrocketed. As the value of the
precious metals remain high, so do the number of thefts of these devices.
To reduce the chance of your catalytic converter being stolen, we recommend:
- Park vehicles, if possible, in a garage. If not possible, consider parking your vehicle in a
well-light area. While lights may not provide complete security, it may make some thieves
thin twice, and they may opt to the leave the area.
- Set the alarm on your vehicle if equipped.
- Install an anti-theft device.
- Consider adding video surveillance to the area where you regularly park.
- Visit one of our partners to have your VIN etched into your catalytic converter.
If you have questions about this program contact:
Investigator Bob Kushman at (706)839-0557 or email@example.com
Investigator George Cason at (706)839-0560 or firstname.lastname@example.org