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Deterring Catalytic Converter Theft

Posted on May 4, 2022


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tami Zawistowski (R-61) voted for SB 256 “An Act Concerning the Purchase or Receipt of Catalytic Converters by Motor Vehicle Recyclers, Scrap Metal Processor and Junk Dealers.” The legislation, which she also cosponsored, will impose additional restrictions on catalytic converters to deter theft.

Catalytic converter theft has increased dramatically nationwide. Communities across Connecticut reported incidents of theft from school bus lots, car dealerships, and parked cars. Replacing the part and repairing the damage can cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of the vehicle.

“Our district has easy highway access and many businesses with small truck fleets are especially attractive to catalytic converter thieves,” said Rep. Zawistowski. “Additional requirements and restrictions on the sale of catalytic converters will make this theft less lucrative. I hope this legislation will be a model for our neighboring states.”

In written testimony, the National Insurance Crime Bureau noted, “Catalytic converter theft has skyrocketed over the past two years in part due to the significant rise in the price of various precious metals, including rhodium, platinum, and palladium. All are used in the construction of catalytic converters. … Nationally, catalytic converter claims more than quadrupled in 2020.”

The bill generally prohibits motor vehicle recyclers from receiving a catalytic converter unless it is attached to the motor vehicle and prohibits selling a catalytic converter unless it’s affixed or they identify with a stock number. Additionally, the legislation prohibits anyone other than a recycler or motor vehicle repair shop from selling more than one unattached converter to a scrap metal processor, junk yard, or junk dealer in a day. Record keeping requirements are also expanded under this legislation.

The legislation received unanimous support in both the House and Senate. To track this legislation or read the bill analysis, visit the General Assembly website www.cga.ct.gov.