PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thieves nationwide keep swiping catalytic converters, and a Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to put up some roadblocks to protect people.
State Rep. Mary Isaacson, a Democrat out of Philadelphia, says enough is enough.
"It got perpetually worse during the pandemic," Isaacson said. "And the numbers continually tick up, as we've seen recently in the news that we are not only having individuals but we are having theft rings."
Her legislation just passed the state House and now heads to the state Senate. It beefs up regulations on transactions that deal with the sale of catalytic converters at scrap metal yards.
"The precious metals that are located in the converters are worth a lot of money," Isaacson said. "And certainly with supply chain issues persisting in the economy, they have become even more valuable."
Pennsylvania is third in the nation for catalytic converter theft, only behind California and Texas. About 64,000 thefts happened nationwide according to data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
"One of the unfortunate things is it's very easy to steal one of these converters out from a car without even having to break into the car," the lawmaker said. "It's problems in parking lots and in individual communities and neighborhoods, right on the streets."
According to the bill, everyone selling a catalytic converter at a yard needs to give the year, make, model and vehicle information number for the vehicle where the item came from. The person selling must also agree to a photograph.
"So that there could be some paper trails to assist law enforcement," Isaacson said.
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