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Union County Launches Catalytic Converter Etching Program to Thwart Thefts

Union County

By: Richard L. Smith 

The Union County Municipal Task Force, in a collaborative effort with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), local municipalities, law enforcement agencies, and businesses, is rolling out an innovative Catalytic Converter Etching Program.  

This initiative, aimed at curtailing the surge in catalytic converter thefts in the county, is scheduled for January 20th, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at various locations.AdUnion County Prosecutor William A. Daniel highlighted the growing concern over these thefts, which have imposed significant financial burdens on victims. 

The etching program seeks to deter thefts by marking each converter with a unique code and high-visibility paint, making them less appealing to thieves and easier to recover if stolen.

Residents can visit locations such as Autoland in Springfield, the Westfield and Rahway Department of Public Works, Union Police Department Headquarters, Home Town Tire & Auto in Linden, and Wave Car Wash in Plainfield for the service.  

Professionals will use a high-tech etching process to mark the catalytic converters, helping to trace them back to their vehicles.

The service is free, but residents must book an appointment and sign a hold harmless agreement.

Law enforcement officers will be available at these events to answer questions and provide advice on theft prevention.

Chief of Detectives Dr. Harvey Barnwell of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office emphasized their commitment to addressing this issue with community cooperation. Police departments across the county, including those in Rahway, Union, and Plainfield, are actively encouraging residents to participate in this program.AdThey view the etching as a critical step in both deterring theft and aiding in the prosecution of those caught with stolen converters.

This comprehensive approach, combining community engagement with innovative solutions, marks a significant effort by Union County in tackling a nationwide challenge and protect its residents.   

The following are the Sign Up Genius links for each location:

1- Autoland (Springfield)

2- HomeTown Tire & Auto (Linden)

3- Wave Car Wash (Plainfield)-

4- Rahway DPW (Rahway)-

5- Union PD (Union)-

6- Westfield DPW (Westfield)-