Legislation to curb theft of catalytic converters wins approval of General Assembly
STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives today approved legislation introduced by Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) and Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) that is designed to help curb the theft of catalytic converters.
The bill (2022-H 7751B, 2022-S 2906A) would require that purchasers of a catalytic converter, except for business-to-business transactions, obtain either the vehicle registration or the vehicle identification number from the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed and provide upon request, the information to a law enforcement agency.
“This legislation will crack down on a crime that is extremely costly to car owners,” said Representative Solomon, who chairs the House Corporations Committee, which heard testimony on the legislation last week. “The perpetrators of this crime get pennies on the dollar for these converters while the cost of replacing them can be well over $1,000, especially if the car is damaged while criminals attempt to remove the converters quickly. Taking these converters really hurts the most vulnerable in our society — people going to work every day, single mothers living paycheck to paycheck who now have an additional huge expense they can’t afford.”
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts have seen a significant increase across the country since March 2020, the start of the global pandemic.
“Catalytic converter theft has become a serious issue in the neighborhoods of Providence and throughout the state,” said Senator Goodwin. “This legislation will aid law enforcement officials in tracking down the perpetrators of these thefts, which often occur in less than a minute. It will also protect business owners from unknowingly acquiring and selling stolen goods by making sure these devices are coming from legitimate sources. This is a practical solution to a problem that is plaguing more and more people every day.”
The measure now moves to the governor’s office.