EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Las Cruces Police Department is holding two VIN etching events for catalytic converters this weekend.

The events are free and are specifically for catalytic converters. The events will be happening on the following days:

  • Friday, June 9, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Take 5 Oil Change, 3476 Rinconada Blvd.
  • Saturday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jiffy Lube, 2765 N. Main St.

Las Cruces residents are encouraged to have their VIN number, or their license plate number etched onto their vehicle’s catalytic converter in order to discourage removal and theft.

By etching the car’s VIN into the catalytic converter, it discourages thefts by it being more difficult to sell and part-out since it can be tracked with the VIN. Police say recycle centers are required to record the identification of anyone who is selling catalytic converters.

Las Cruces Police also shares a list of tips that can help prevent theft of catalytic converters:

  • Park in a garage or well-lit area.
  • Ensure the VIN – Vehicle Identification Number – is engraved onto your catalytic converter.
  • Install a catalytic converter shield or protection device that is approved for your vehicle make and model.
  • Install and utilize a vehicle alarm system that detects vibration.
  • Avoid leaving vehicle unattended in public places for long periods of time.
  • Call police immediately at 575-526-0795 to report suspicious activities such as someone lying underneath a vehicle that’s parked on a roadway or in a parking lot.

Police also say that those suspected of stealing a catalytic converter could be charged with felony counts of criminal damage to property and larceny.