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New Law Aims at Cracking Down on Catalytic Converter Thefts

Posted on in Theft and Property Crimes

Fairfield County Criminal Defense LawyerThe recent rise in catalytic converter thefts has hit just about every state in the country, including right here in Connecticut. Examples of just how serious a problem it has become over the past few months include thefts of catalytic converters off of more than a dozen Easter Seal vans in Waterville and 18 school buses in Plainville. In May, a man in Milford needed 300 stitches after a confrontation with a man who was using a Sawzall to cut off a catalytic converter from a parked vehicle.

In response to these and other incidents, lawmakers passed a new law that went into effect July 1, implementing stringent restrictions on who motor vehicle recyclers can purchase these parts from and how those sales must be documented.

Thefts Soar

According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of catalytic converter thefts skyrocketed from 3,400 in 2019 to 14,400 in 2020, a more than 400 percent increase in one year – those numbers continue to soar.

Catalytic converters are attached to a vehicle’s exhaust system and their job is to convert the hazardous exhaust fumes that emit from the vehicle’s engine to less harmful gasses. The reason for the huge spike in thefts is that the price of the three metals needed to make the converters have also soared. An ounce of rhodium was going for $14,500 an ounce, palladium for $2,300 an ounce, and platinum for $1,100. As the price of these materials continues to rise, so do the thefts. A stolen catalytic converter can fetch the person selling it up to $250.

New Law

Under the new law, scrap and recycling dealers are now only allowed to buy one catalytic converter per day per party and the converter must be attached to a vehicle at the time of the sale.

The sale itself can no longer be in cash – payment must be made in a check. The dealer must document the seller’s name, address, and driver’s license number.

Failure to comply with the law can result in a charge for the dealer – a Class C misdemeanor. In Connecticut, a conviction of a Class C misdemeanor can result in possible jail time of up to three months and a $500 fine.

Call a Stamford, CT Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of violating this new law, do not delay in contacting a Fairfield County criminal defense attorney to see how we can help. Call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.ctinsider.com/news/article/Milford-man-needed-300-stitches-in-latest-CT-17249421.php

https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2022/05-2022/Governor-Lamont-Signs-Legislation-Cracking-Down-on-the-Sale-of-Stolen-of-Catalytic-Converters