EVERETT, Wash. - The city of Everett wants to protect your car’s catalytic converter with a new program they hope will help identified stolen devices, and possibly deter crime altogether.
A catalytic converter is the metal device under your car that cleans the exhaust leaving your vehicle, but recently, it has been a target for thieves.
Crooks are getting so good that they can steal the catalytic converter in a few minutes or even seconds, leaving you with a cost that could get into the thousands of dollars.
"I felt very victimized. I felt very frustrated," said Claudia McClain.
McClain said someone stole her catalytic converter right in front of her face, she just didn’t realize it. A few months back, McClain said she sat in her office, which is just a few feet from where she parks her car.
She said someone slipped into the parking lot, unnoticed, stole her catalytic converter, and got away. She didn't realize until she got into her car to head home after work.
"Turned on the ignition, and I heard this most horrific sound," she said.
Fixing the issue ended up costing McClain $2,200, she said.
The most ironic part of the situation is McClain is the founder of McClain Insurance Services. She said she gets calls every couple of weeks from her clients dealing with the same problem.
McClain said these thefts are on the rise, and the Everett Police Department agrees.
That is why they created Project CATCON ID. The program allows drivers to get their car's vehicle identification number engraved and highlighted with bright paint right on the catalytic converter.
That way, if your catalytic converter is stolen, there is a better chance police can ID it, and recover it. Police also hope this effort may deter criminals from targeting your converter in the first place.
"I feel like with this much focus both from the community and from the police department, that there is a better chance we’ll have some success," said McClain.
McClain said she plans to attend the event, and is recommending her clients do the same.
The next Project CATCON ID takes place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sno-Isle TECH, located at 9001 Airport Road in Everett.
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