Catalytic converters are like toilet paper. You don’t think about them much until they’re suddenly gone.
More than 100 catalytic converters have been stolen in Victoria so far this year. The problem has gotten so serious that the City Council recently passed an ordinance making it illegal to possess a cut catalytic converter unless you can prove it’s yours.
We hope that this ordinance will discourage thieves. Meanwhile, here are some other steps residents can take to avoid being targeted.
- Park in a well-lit area close to your destination.
- If you have a garage, use it.
- Make your catalytic converter less attractive to thieves. Etch your vehicle’s VIN number onto the catalytic converter or coat it with brightly colored high-heat spray paint.
- Consider protecting your catalytic converter with one of the shields or alarms on the market.
Vehicle burglaries continue to be a problem in our area as well. Be sure to lock your vehicle doors and hide your valuables or take them with you. Remember, unlocked vehicles are much more likely to be burglarized, so don’t make your vehicle an easy target.
The Victoria Police Department’s Community Engagement Unit hosts events throughout the year so that we can meet the people we serve and build relationships with our community.
One of our biggest events of the year, National Night Out, is right around the corner. We hope you’ll join us for our kickoff party 5-8 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Special Events Area of Riverside Park (near Riverside Stadium). The event will feature entertainment, activities and information.
On Oct. 4, we will take part in neighborhood block parties throughout our community. If your neighborhood would like to host a block party, please reach out to us so we can help.
We continue to host monthly Lunch and Learn events in partnership with the Victoria Fire Department, giving residents a chance to ask questions and learn about specific topics in the world of public safety.
Going forward, Lunch and Learn will be hosted 11 a.m.-1 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the Victoria Community Center. Our next topic will be Stop the Bleed on Sept. 21. Residents will learn to apply first aid to a person experiencing severe bleeding.
This is a free event, but we prefer that residents register in advance at www.victoriatx.gov/police so we can get a head count for lunch.
Applications are available for the Victoria Police Department’s Explorer program. Teens who are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement will have the chance to learn about police work, ride along with officers and gain leadership and community relations skills.
Meetings will be hosted twice a month in the evenings. Interested residents can print out an application packet at www.victoriatx.gov/police or pick one up at the Victoria Police Department headquarters, 306 S. Bridge St., or at our office in the Victoria Mall.
To suggest a Lunch and Learn topic or to learn more about Victoria Police Department events and programs, contact the Community Engagement Unit at 361-485-3808 or PoliceCEU@victoriatx.gov or visit www.victoriatx.gov/police.
Officer John Turner is a member of the Victoria Police Department’s Community Engagement Unit.