With Catalytic Converter Theft Exploding, State Lawmakers React

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  • Greater than 50,000 catalytic converters had been stolen off parked autos within the U.S. final yr, a large enhance from 2020 (round 14,500) and 2019 (3400).
  • The Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau (NICB) is monitoring greater than 150 items of laws which have both been enacted or are in some stage of consideration in state homes throughout the nation.
  • A federal invoice, the bipartisan Stopping Auto Recycling Theft Act, or PART Act, can be working its method via Congress.

    Throughout the nation, state governments are attempting to do one thing concerning the rising variety of catalytic converter thefts. The responses usually middle on redefining the standing of a converter in authorized terminology—for instance, together with converters within the listing of “main element components” in Indiana—or inserting extra guidelines on individuals who is likely to be shopping for or promoting converters. For such a easy act of thievery, the response is most actually scattershot, however nationwide legislators in Washington, D.C., are additionally speaking about options.

    Just below 3400 catalytic converters had been stolen from vehicles within the U.S. in 2019, however that quantity jumped by an element of 4 in 2020, when nearly 14,500 had been stolen. In 2021, greater than 50,000 converters had been stolen, in line with knowledge from the Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau (NICB). As we just lately reported, converters from the favored Ford F-series vehicles and Honda Accord sedans had been the commonest targets for catalytic theft.

    The rise within the variety of stolen converters comes as the worth to switch them went from $1000 to round $3000 lately, NICB president and CEO David Glawe informed NBC Information.

    “Crime’s a enterprise, and enterprise is basically good on this house,” he mentioned. “There’s some huge cash to be made. And there is little or no deterrent.”

    One Resolution: Placing the VIN on It

    That may very well be about to alter, in case you take critically all of the associated laws in NCIB’s database that’s into account for 2022. Except for the 152 totally different items of state laws NCIB is monitoring on its web site, there’s additionally a bipartisan invoice presently underneath dialogue in Congress. Known as the Stopping Auto Recycling Theft (PART) Act, this invoice would codify the federal penalties for anybody convicted of stealing a converter. It might additionally set some federal guidelines on making catalytic converters trackable by stamping VINs onto them in new vehicles. The invoice would additionally require that individuals who purchase and promote converters hold data of those transactions.

    NICB’s map of catalytic converter payments within the works. Darker = extra laws.

    Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau

    Of the 152 items of state laws, solely 26 have been enacted. Many of the others are within the early “launched or prefiled” class, whereas some are being critically mentioned in varied committees. A number of the states that just lately enacted legal guidelines relating to converter theft embrace Connecticut and Mississippi.

    In Connecticut, it’s now unlawful for automobile recyclers to accumulate a converter that is not linked to a automobile, and recyclers now must hold written data of any transactions involving converters. Mississippi’s new legislation will increase fines for anybody caught stealing a converter and requires sellers to supply their private ID and the VIN of the automobile that the converter got here from with a purpose to promote it. Patrons additionally must pay by examine.

    Hawaii with 16, Minnesota (14), and California (11) are the three states contemplating essentially the most items of converter theft laws. Most of the relaxation are contemplating between one and a half-dozen. Based on the NICB, 13 states usually are not contemplating any sort of laws relating to catalytic converter thefts. They’re Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming.

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