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Posted on: May 12, 2022

Operation Etch-and-Catch Press Release

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Starting Thursday, May 12th, through a partnership with select Crestwood automotive repair businesses, who have graciously volunteered their time and labor, a customer who is already having their vehicle serviced at their facility, may have their license plate number etched into their vehicles catalytic converter, along with applying a stripe of heat resistant paint. This allows the catalytic converter to be entered into a database should it be stolen, and hopefully lead to thieves moving on from etched converters.

The Crestwood Police Department is the first department in the St. Louis Area to launch Operation Etch-and-Catch. Utilizing local automobile service shops, Operation Etch-and-Catch works as follows:

  • When a vehicle is brought to a participating business for any service that would require it to be placed on a lift, or otherwise need to be accessed from below, the vehicle’s owner may request to have their license plate number etched onto the vehicle’s catalytic converter, as well as a line of brightly colored high temperature resistant paint applied. 
  • This service will be provided free of charge, and only at the vehicle owner’s request (from a participating business). 
  • By etching the vehicle’s license plate number into the catalytic converter, law enforcement is able to enter the catalytic converters into a criminal computer database as they now have an “owner applied identifier”. 
  • It is our intent to forward this information to all local metal recyclers and scrap yards, in the hope that they will recognize this newly applied information when they are presented with stolen property.

To learn more about Operation Etch & Catch, and view a list of participating auto repair facilities, check out our web page https://www.cityofcrestwood.org/401/Etch-and-Catch or contact The Crestwood Police Department Community Relations Office at 314-729-4800.

Press Release for Operation Etch-and-Catch

Etch-and-Catch Flyer

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