This free service is meant to keep catalytic converters safe by deterring thieves

There’s a free event in Puyallup that may help prevent someone from stealing your catalytic converter.

The Puyallup New Car Dealers Association partnered with the Puyallup Police Department to host a catalytic converter etching event on Saturday, Oct. 22 at select locations. People registered online at puyallupcars.com.

Puyallup Police Captain Don Bourbon said all 240 time slots for the event have been filled as of Thursday, Oct. 13. There might be a similar event in the future but no dates have been established yet.

The seven locations participating in the event are: Bill Korum’s Puyallup Nissan, Kia of Puyallup, Toyota of Puyallup, Volkswagen of Puyallup, Subaru Puyallup, Chevrolet Buick GMC of Puyallup, and Puyallup Mazda. The dealerships are donating time and materials.

Crews will engrave the last eight digits of the vehicle identification number on the converter and highlight it with high-temperature paint, according to a Puyallup Police Department news release.

“The identification potentially serves as a deterrent to would-be thieves. If stolen, the marked converter is easier for police to track back to the rightful owner,” the news release read.

Those unable to attend the event are advised to install a catalytic converter cage or guard on their vehicle. Parking in secured garages or well-lit lots can also help.

Catalytic converters have palladium, rhodium and platinum, which makes them valuable items to sell and purchase. Over 50,000 catalytic converters were stolen in 2021, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

“Pierce County has been a hotbed of converter thefts and we’re excited to take a leadership role in protecting consumers and making converters worthless on the underground market,” Luke Korum, Puyallup New Car Dealers Association president, said in the release.