SAINT PAUL, Minn. – In a bipartisan vote Tuesday, the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee advanced Senator John Marty’s legislation to prevent catalytic converter thefts. The legislation, SF 5, is a top priority for Senate DFLers, according to Sen. Marty.
“We have seen an unprecedented spike in catalytic converter thefts across Minnesota in recent years,” Marty said. “This legislation would take immediate steps to disrupt the black market for reselling these stolen parts and help prevent these thefts from happening in the first place.”
Thefts of catalytic converters have skyrocketed in recent years. While St. Paul reported 45 such thefts in 2014, they reported over 2,000 in 2022. In testimony during the committee, Special Agent Joe Boche with the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau said Minnesota was third in the nation in terms of thefts, following California and Texas. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts have risen nationally by 1,215% since 2019.
Despite these unprecedented numbers, legislation to prevent these thefts has not advanced in the Minnesota Senate in recent years. This year, the Senate DFL is making it a priority.
“In three years of carrying this bill, we never received even a single hearing, and my attempts to bring this to the Senate Floor for debate were all blocked,” said Sen. Marty. “This conversation is only happening this year because Minnesotans were tired of important policy like this getting blocked. Now we are moving with the urgency this issue requires, and I look forward to getting this to the floor as soon as possible.”
The legislation has received support from the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, the Minnesota Chiefs of Police, the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities, the Municipal Legislative Commission, the Minnesota Insurance Federation, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and from numerous law enforcement agencies.
SF 5 was approved on a voice vote and now moves to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, where it will be heard on Wednesday, February 8 at 12:30 p.m.