BEAVERTON, OR -- A new Portland-area program aims to reduce catalytic converter thefts and could soon expand statewide. Vehicle owners can now get their catalytic converter marked for free, without an appointment, at any of the 46 Jiffy Lube location in the Portland, Vancouver and Salem area. Click HERE for participating locations. Franchisee Justin Soha says the program started in Indiana, “We’re going to stripe the catalytic converter with high-temperature paint, so it’s very recognizable. And then, as soon as that paint dries, which is pretty much seconds, we’re going to engrave the complete vehicle identification number onto that catalytic converter, making it unique to that vehicle.”
Washington County Deputy Brandon Toney believes it will make those valuable catalytic converters less appealing to thieves, “If you look at one that’s already got a VIN number already engraved on there, it’s got neon green paint, or whatever it’s going to be, on the catalytic converter, I would imagine that that person is going to take a look at that and then think about the ways they’re going to unload that.”
Dep. Toney tells KBND News it's unusual to see a private company launch a free program to help law enforcement. Beaverton Police Officer Matt Henderson says, “Where there’s a demand, there’s going to be a supply. So, when a company like Jiffy Lube steps up and helps us track down, or puts markings on these catalytic converters to help us find when they’ve been stolen, it helps us.” WCSO Commander Timothy Tannenbaum says catalytic converter thefts continue to be a major problem in the metro area. Reports to his agency skyrocketed from 28 in 2020, to 239 in 2021, "The cost of replacing a catalytic converter can be upwards of $1500, which is a large sum of money for those who live paycheck to paycheck."
Soha says he's talking with his corporate office, in an effort to bring the program to all Jiffy Lube locations.