Minnesota Legislature Making Progress On Bill To Discourage Catalytic Converter Thefts

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota is one of the top states for catalytic converter thefts, and after years of roadblocks, the state legislature is now making some progress on a bill that would discourage it.

On Monday, the state House passed a bill that would make it illegal for scrap metal buyers to accept catalytic converters cut off of vehicles.

It would also require those metal dealers to gather certain information and pass it over to law enforcement that will go into a database.

That includes the date of sale, an ID of the catalytic converter seller, and a signed document from the seller affirming that the parts weren’t stolen.

Duluth police say it’s a starting point to fight these kinds of thefts.

“It’s certainly a step in the right direction for law enforcement and being able to track the stolen converters,” Morgan Cekalla, an investigator with the Duluth Police Department, said. “Another thing that’d be nice to see is just the manufacturers making it more difficult to remove these catalytic converters, whether it be welding them to the frame or having some sort of guard that makes it difficult for thieves to gain access to them.”

Duluth has seen eight catalytic converter thefts in the first month-and-a-half of this year, compared to 25 last year during the same time period.

“The issue with catalytic converters is right now someone can have several of them in the back of their truck and there’s really no way for us to make contact with the owner because there’s no identification on them,” Cekalla added.

The DPD says you can try to prevent your catalytic converter from being stolen by having a mechanic put your VIN number on it, and then a plate over it so it’s harder for thieves to get to.

The bill has been sent over to the state Senate.

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