Senate Bill 919 Reduces Catalytic Converter Theft

According to a recent report, California is the number one state for catalytic converter thefts.

SANTEE, Calif. — Sen. Brian W. Jones, R-Santee, introduced a measure on Thursday designed to crack down on what he describes as an increase in the theft of catalytic converters in California.

“California catalytic converter theft crime has skyrocketed over the past few months,” Jones said. “Unfortunately, unless some changes are made to the law, it will only get worse.

“Thieves often face little risk of arrest or prosecution, but the owner of the car or truck faces thousands of dollars in repairs and the inability to use their vehicle for days or weeks for that it is being repaired,” he said. “My bill will help deter, prevent and prosecute the growing crime of catalytic converter theft in California.”

Senate Bill 919 would focus on the crime of catalytic converter theft in three ways:

  1. New and used motor vehicle dealers would be required to permanently affix the vehicle identification number to the catalytic converter of any vehicle before selling it;
  2. Metal recyclers would only be allowed to purchase catalytic converters bearing a clearly visible, unforged VIN, and they would have to keep detailed records of who sold each specific catalytic converter to them and make those records available to law enforcement; and
  3. The bill will require sales documents and a VIN on catalytic converters as well as escalating fines, intended to discourage theft.

A catalytic converter is a smog control device on a motor vehicle. Stolen catalytic converters can fetch the thief up to $250, but cost the motorist up to $4,000 to replace them, according to a report from the California Bureau of Automotive Repair.

“Theft of an under-vehicle converter takes only minutes with basic tools such as a pipe wrench or cordless Sawzall,” the report said.

According to a recent report on Investopedia.com cited by Jones, California is the No. 1 state for catalytic converter thefts.

SB 919 is sponsored by the Chula Vista Police Department and is on the Senate Rules Committee awaiting assignment to a policy committee for a hearing.

“I am so grateful to Senator Jones and his office for supporting this bill to address the theft of catalytic converters, an issue that has impacted countless victims,” said the Chula Vista Police Chief. , Roxana Kennedy. “This legislation is essential to protect the property interests of our community and beyond.”

Norman D. Briggs