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Save Your CAT Program

Save Your CAT Program

Jim Pattison Subaru on Regent, in partnership with Winnipeg Crime Stoppers, will etch your vehicle identification number on your catalytic converter free of charge while your vehicle is being serviced. The bottom of the converter will also be sprayed with a high heat fluorescent paint, making it immediately recognizable to would-be thieves. Additionally, a small sticker will be placed on your car window, marking your car as having an identifiable catalytic converter. Crime Stoppers and the Winnipeg Police are working to combat this epidemic, which affected over 2200 motorists last year.

Five Tips to Protect Your Vehicle:
Since converter thieves tend to target cars at ideal locations, most prevention methods involve your parking practices.

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public parking lots. This leaves your car in a location where many people can see it.
  • If you have a personal garage, keep your car parked inside with the door shut.
  • Add video surveillance to the area where you regularly park your car.
  • Adjust the security system on your car, if already installed, to activate from vibrations, such as those produced by a saw.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do I have to have another service to be done to have this service performed?
The vehicle must be on a hoist, and we all know hourly rates can be expensive. Jim Pattison Subaru on Regent will complete this marking at no cost. It is a community service we are providing to help protect our customers.

Why do you think paint and engraving will stop these thefts?
Engraving the last eight numbers of your vehicle identification number provides the police with a way to identify your vehicle. In the event it is stolen, this information helps hold thieves responsible. The bright paint on the converter and stickers on your rear windows act as a deterrent for theft. We cannot guarantee it won't be stolen, but we can say we have created a visible deterrent for a thief.

Who pays for all this?
Crime Stoppers presented this idea and applied for grant funds from Criminal Forfeiture. The funds used for the engravers, paint, printed material, are paid by money seized as proceeds of crime. Winnipeg Crime Stoppers volunteers researched and developed this program. It was based on several similar programs being run successfully across North America. Crime Stoppers is managing the program in Winnipeg.

How hard it is to scrape off the paint and engraved numbers?
Thieves steal as it is easy money. They do not want to do more than what they must. When they slide under the vehicle and see the high-visibility paint, they are likely to leave. Scrap yards have been notified of the program and will not purchase it as they risk being subject to a criminal charge.

So, what about the scrap yards that buy these catalytic converters? Who is stopping them from buying them?
Metal recyclers have a legitimate role in our society by recycling material to provide metal for production. Recent changes to the Scrap Metal Act require photo identification for sellers of catalytic converters. They are limiting the number of cash transactions to $50.00. Crime Stoppers is working with scrap metal dealers to identify stolen property, and they are urged to provide information about suspicious transactions to the police or Crime Stoppers.

Why should I have my converter marked, what's in it for me?
It is a quick source of cash for thieves and up until now little risk of being caught. If your vehicle is targeted, you will have to pay your insurance deductible and a betterment fee if your vehicle is more than two years old. Average cost was estimated at $800 and up. Because of the number of thefts, its I difficult to obtain parts and you may be without your vehicle for some time. This program is all about deterrence but if it is stolen if gives Police a chance to identify your property and arrest the thief. Thieves do not want to risk being caught in possession of these marked converters.

Crime Stoppers Winnipeg

Please contact us for more information and to book an appointment.

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