A press conference was held this week to present the Legislature with a bill to address the theft of catalytic converters.
Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle’s exhaust emission control system and contain several valuable metals used as filters. Converters are being removed from vehicles and sold as scrap for the valuable metals inside them. Converters can be sold for around $300 but can cost up to $3,000 to replace. Converters do not have identifying mark which allows them to be traced to the car it was stolen from, making it impossible to prove that a converter has been stolen.
The bill prohibits anyone other than licensed scrap metal dealers from buying used converters and prohibits scrap dealers from buying catalytic converters from anyone other than a bona fide auto repair or auto recycling business. Scrap dealers are prohibited from paying cash for used converters in the proposal, which also makes it illegal for an individual to possess a used converter unattached to a vehicle unless the owner has documentation of legitimate removal and ownership. This proposal allows law enforcement to seize stolen converters, empowers victims of theft to work with law enforcement to recover the stolen property, and ensures individuals possessing converters may only sell the property if they possess the proper documentation to prove authorized possession.
The bill has strong bipartisan support and is expected to be heard in the House in the coming days.
Senate DFLers will fight for it to be heard in the Senate as we continue to look for ways to improve public safety and protect Minnesotans. (SF 890)