The business, in partnership with Winnipeg Where do I go to have my vehicle catalytic converter engraved?
The web site Saveyourcat.ca has a list of all participating service stations and garages. They will perform the service at no cost when it is booked in for other service.
Why do I have to have other service to be done to have this service performed?
The vehicle must be on a hoist, and we all know hourly rates can be expensive. These dealers and automotive business has agreed to provide their time to complete this marking at no cost. It is a community service they are providing to help protect their customers. There are some partners who offer this service during an oil change, so you have options.
My vehicle does not require any service, but I am anxious to have the converter marked rather than wait until it needs service. Can I pay for this service to be performed?
Although our intent was to have this service provided at no cost, we realize that this may be unrealistic for some vehicle owners. We have been asked these questions several times and we have spoken to some our provider about a solution. The following was a result of this consultation. Some of our partners have indicated they are willing to do this at a very reduced price. Their mechanics are paid by the job, so it is difficult to ask them to do this at no charge in these instances. Other dealers are willing to do this when time permits as it does require the use of their hoist. Please speak with your service provider and see what their policy is. We appreciate our service providers working with their customer base to address this epidemic of thefts and being flexible will accomplish this goal.
I have my own garage I deal with and prefer to have my car service there.
Customer loyalty is why these shops have volunteered to help their customers by partnering with Crime Stoppers. Speak to your garage management and we would be pleased to supply them with material if they wish to be one of our partners. It is all at no charge to them. We are adding new partners as they contact us, so the list is getting larger.
Why do you think paint and engraving will stop these thefts?
Engraving the last eight numbers of your vehicle serial number or VIN, provides a method of matching your converter to your vehicle in the event it is stolen. If Police stop the person, they can now lay criminal charges because the can identify the property as stolen. It was difficult and at time impossible to hold thieves responsible without this information. The bright high heat paint shows the thief your vehicle is marked. It is a deterrent for the theft, not to steal your converter. Stickers are also available to put on your rear side windows showing your vehicle is marked for identification. We cannot guarantee it won’t be stolen but we can say we have created a visible deterrence for a thief to target your vehicle.
Who pays for all this?
Crime Stoppers presented this idea and applied for grant funds from Criminal Forfeiture. The funds used for the engravers, paint, printed material, are paid by money seized as proceeds of crime. Winnipeg Crime Stoppers volunteers researched and developed this program. It was based on several similar programs being run successfully across North America. Crime Stoppers is managing the program in Winnipeg.
How hard it is to scrape off the paint and engraved numbers.?
Thieves steal as it is easy money. They do not want to do more than what they must. When they slide under the vehicle and see the high visibility paint, they likely will leave. Scrap yards have been notified of the program and warned any that appear to have been scrapped or ground off, that is likely stolen property. They will not purchase It as they risk being subject to a criminal charge.
So, what about the scrap yards that buy these catalytic converters, who is stopping them from buying them.
Metal recyclers have a legitimate role in our society by recycling material to provide metal for production and of course reduce waste in our landfills. Recent changes to the Scrap Metal Act require photo identification to sellers of catalytic converters. They are limiting the amount of cash transactions to $50.00. Crime Stoppers is working with the Scrap Metal dealers by showing them how these are being marked. We are suggesting if there is evidence, they have tried to remove the paint or engraving, to refuse the transaction as it is likely stolen property. We have asked them to pass any information of a suspicious transaction to Police or Crime Stoppers.
Why should I have my converter marked, what’s in it for me?
Last year there were 1500 thefts reported. The first few months of 2022 we have had almost that many reported. They are not stopping. It is a quick source of cash for thieves and up until now little risk of being caught. If your vehicle is targeted, you will have to pay your insurance deductible and a betterment fee if your vehicle is more than two years old. Average cost was estimated at $800 and up. Because of the number of thefts, its I difficult to obtain parts and you maybe without your vehicle for some time. This program is all about deterrence but if it is stolen if gives Police a chance to identify your property and arrest the thief. Thieves do not want to risk being caught in possession of these marked converters.