SAINT PAUL, Minn. – After three years of inaction on catalytic converter theft prevention, the Minnesota Senate passed Senator John Marty’s (DFL-Roseville) legislation (HF30/SF5) Thursday on a bipartisan vote of 40-25. The legislation was a top priority of Senate DFLers and will crackdown on an issue that is affecting tens of thousands of Minnesota families throughout the state.
“Minnesota has seen the rate of catalytic converter thefts skyrocket in recent years, and law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have not had the tools they need to respond,” said Sen. Marty. “With today’s legislation we are taking major steps to stop the thefts and disrupt the black market for reselling this stolen property. Auto theft investigators believe that these provisions will make a significant difference in preventing these crimes from occurring in the first place.”
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts have risen nationally by 1,215% since 2019, and according to the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau, Minnesota was third in the nation in terms of thefts, following California and Texas.
Legislation to address these thefts was first introduced by Sen. Marty in 2020 but it never received a bill hearing, and efforts to bring it forward were blocked by Senate Republicans. This year, Senate DFLers made it a priority as part of their consumer protection agenda.
“The average cost to replace a catalytic converter is $2600, and thousands of working Minnesotans have had to pay that cost and live with significant disruption to their lives, due to legislative inaction,” Marty said. “I’m pleased with the prompt action this year, where this bill is passing early in the legislative session.
The companion legislation has passed in the House and the Senate language is awaiting concurrence there. Marty’s legislation has received support from the Minnesota Chiefs of Police, the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities, and has been pointed to as a model for effective anti-catalytic converter theft legislation by the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators.