Breaking News
More () »

Here's how you can get you catalytic converter etched for free

The International District is offering Houstonians free catalytic converter etching this weekend.

HOUSTON — With catalytic converter thefts up 150% from last year, community members are looking for ways to crackdown on the crime.

Editorial note: The above video is from a related story.

The International District is inviting residents to bring their vehicles and have their converters etched for free.

The event will take place at the Alief ISD Center for Advanced Careers on Saturday, May 7 starting at 9 a.m.

The cutoff for the last vehicle will be at 2 p.m.

Does etching deter catalytic converter thefts?

The short answer is it doesn't, but it makes it easier for the police to trace it back to you if it ends up in a scrapyard.

You can help officers nab crooks by etching your VIN on the converter.

"Take an engraving tool and actually engrave it," says HPD Sgt. Tracy Hicks. "It makes us go, ‘Let’s look up this number right here.'"

What other ways can you stop catalytic converter thefts?

The best defense is to park your car in a garage. Not everyone has one, so then what?

You still have options.

The Houston Police Department recommends spraying your whole catalytic converter, end to end, with bright, high-temperature paint.

If thieves want to try and sell that catalytic converter, they would have to scrap all that paint off first.

Painting is the cheapest option and the paint will run you anywhere from $6 to $10.

If you can afford to drop a couple hundred bucks, consider a cage that has to be welded on and is much harder to take off.

The amount of time and noise it would take to rip off could force thieves to give up and move on to the next vehicle. Most thefts only take about two minutes.

KHOU 11 on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube