Operation ‘Cat Scratch’ helps thwart catalytic converter theft


NEW ROCHELLE, NY – A new approach to combating the growing national problem of catalytic converter theft uses a simple solution that could one day soon have catalytic converter thieves avoiding the city like the plague.

In December, New Rochelle police launched “Operation Cat Scratch.”

The plan is simple. Using the facilities of the city’s Department of Public Works, serial numbers were etched into the catalytic converters of participating New Rochelle residents who were victims of the crime. This unique number is stored in a database accessible to law enforcement when recovering a stolen converter.

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Increased patrols, targeted efforts and special operations have already resulted in several arrests. According to the police, “Cat Scratch” is one more element of the department’s strategy to combat this type of crime.

The 20-minute burning process is non-invasive and free. Officials said plans are already underway to offer this service to all New Rochelle residents in the future.

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