General Assembly Passes Law Making It a Felony to Steal Catalytic Converters

Rob Bell

The General Assembly passed legislation on Saturday to make it a felony to steal a catalytic converter, sending the bills for Governor Glenn Youngkin’s approval. The emissions devices have precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium, and the value per ounce has gone up in recent years, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which reported in March 2021 that recyclers pay around $50 to $250 for a catalytic converter.

“As many of you are probably experiencing in your districts, we have a rash of catalytic converter larcenies in central Virginia,” HB 740 sponsor Delegate Rob Bell (R-Albemarle) said in the House of Delegates on February 10.

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Minnesota Car Dealerships Now Offering Catalytic Converter ‘Theft Deterrent’

Cars in a parking garage at night

Catalytic converter thefts have become such a problem that some car dealerships are now charging $60 for theft deterrent services.

The Rudy Luther Toyota dealership in Minnetonka is now offering to spray catalytic converters with “high-temp, flame-proof orange paint” and engrave VIN numbers on the converter casing.

A sign at Rudy Luther Toyota in Minnetonka promotes “catalytic converter theft deterrent” services.

Even still, the dealership “does not guarantee against catalytic converter theft” but hopes “the installation of our product” will encourage thieves to “move on to an easier target.”

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