Kentucky Bill Aims To Quash Catalytic Converter Thefts

Mar 7, 2022 at 4:25 pm
What it looks like when your catalytic converter is stolen.
What it looks like when your catalytic converter is stolen. Photo Courtesy of Jeral Tidwell

Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise in Kentucky over the past few years, and a piece of legislation currently being considered by the General Assembly would attempt to slow that trend.

Senate Bill 114 — which got a second reading in the Judiciary committee last week — would up the requirements for maintaining catalytic converter purchase records that detail each transaction made, and failure to do so would be a Class B misdemeanor.

Purchasers are currently required to keep a photocopy of a valid driver’s license or other form of government-issued ID that contains the name, photograph and signature of the seller, as well as the state and license plate number of the vehicle that transported the catalytic converter and the time and date of the transaction. The amount paid also already has to be recorded, and the records must be kept for two years. Upon written request from a sheriff or a chief of police, buyers have to make a report containing the information requested. 

In addition to the current laws, SB 114 would also require the buyers to obtain — and keep records of — the receipt for the replacement catalytic converter, as well as the title or registration for the vehicle from which the part was removed from. It would also establish the penalty of failure to maintain the records and unlawful purchases as a Class B misdemeanor. 

Catalytic converters have been a target for thieves because they can be disconnected from a car quickly and they contain platinum and other metals that can get a decent price at a scrap yard.

Sen. Whitney Westerfield, a Republican who is the sponsor of the bill, told WDRB that the extra requirements in the bill would be effective in identifying illegal activity. 

“It should be super easy to identify who comes in and sells a $2,000 piece of a car that's clearly been cut out of a vehicle," he said.

In November of 2021, Jeffersontown Police said they recovered $100,000 worth of stolen catalytic converters after busting a six-person crime ring that targeted the part. 

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