The Montgomery County Police Department’s catalytic converter etching program, referred to as Etch and Catch, aims to deter catalytic thefts and aid in the recovery of converters should they be stolen.

The Police Department has partnered with local body shops and vehicle service centers, whose technicians serialize and paint Montgomery County residents' vehicle catalytic converters for free. Participants are also given a vehicle window cling that reads, “ This vehicle’s catalytic converter has been etched.

Etching the Catalytic Converter A person etching the catalytic converter
Window cling for Catalytic Converter Etching Program Window decal issued by Montgomery County Police Departement

Are you interested in having your vehicle's catalytic converter etched?

The program is available to all Montgomery County residents.

Please email the police district in which you live to inquire about future etching events in your district:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is part of a vehicle's exhaust system and is required for the vehicle to run properly. It is found underneath the vehicle, attached to the exhaust pipe.

Why do suspects steal catalytic converters?

A catalytic converter is a target for theft because of the value of the precious metals used to make it. A catalytic converter is relatively easy to steal and lacks identifiable markings.

What vehicles have a catalytic converter?

All vehicles made after 1974 are required to have catalytic converters (if they have a motor. Electric cars like Teslas do not have catalytic converters).

How do I minimize the chance of a suspect stealing my vehicle’s catalytic converter?

  • Park your vehicle in a garage or secure location
  • Park in well-lit, highly visible areas
  • Purchase a catalytic converter ant-theft device
  • Etch and paint your catalytic converter