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Laws Against Catalytic Converter Theft Could Protect Car Owners

This article originally appeared on unit.

California is aiming to curb catalyst theft. On Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he officially signed two new bills into law that not only place limits on who can buy and sell used catalytic converters, but also improve record-keeping requirements to track down thieves.

the first invoice SB-1087, modifies current legislation to prevent both individuals and recyclers from acquiring used catalytic converters from people who are not car dismantlers, repair shops or a natural person who can present documentation that proves the legitimate ownership of the part. Any recycler who violates these requirements will be fined.

the second bill AB-1740, will modify the mandatory record-keeping requirements. When any core recycler purchases a catalytic converter, they will also need to obtain the year, make, and model of the vehicle it came from, as well as a copy of the vehicle’s title. Core recyclers would also be prohibited from purchasing or receiving a catalytic converter from anyone other than a verifiable owner or commercial company.

“We are going to get to the root cause, at least one of the root causes, in this crime. And those are the brokers and the middlemen, who pay a lot of money for the stolen parts. It will now be illegal in California to purchase catalytic converters from anyone who is not a licensed auto dismantler or dealer,” Newsom said. “The people who buy and sell these parts now have to keep detailed records so we can better track thefts if they do happen. You take away the market for stolen goods, you can help reduce theft.”

California has the highest number of catalytic converter thefts. In 2021, residents reported a total of 18,026 thefts, which represents about 123 thefts per 100,000 vehicles on California roadways, a 200 percent increase over 2020 figures. Texas is the state with the second increased number of robberies, going from 375 reports in 2019 to 7,895 robberies in 2021. Houston Police have said before They receive more than 30 reports of stolen catalytic converters every day.

While catalytic converter theft has increased, so has law enforcement around the issue.

following the approval of a law that prohibited the possession of “cut” catsHouston police recently arrested a ring of six people they accuse of causing more than $11.6 million in damage to cars and trucks due to theft of catalytic converters around the Houston metropolitan area. Two of the individuals were arrested. previously arrested in Florida for similar crimes. Oregon authorities They caught another syndicate of suspected thieves last month for the same crime, claiming the 14 individuals caused nearly twice the financial damage caused by the Houstonians at $22 million.

Ideally, the change in California law will make it more difficult for criminals to sell their stolen cats. It will also increase penalties for businesses and recyclers who knowingly buy emission devices stolen from thieves. With any luck, these stricter laws will significantly reduce the street value of catalytic converters and curb theft in the state as a whole.


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