New Ohio bill seeks to crack down on catalytic converter theft
Catalytic converter thefts have surged this year, both nationally and in Ohio.
Rep. Bob Young, R-Green, wants to make sure those stolen catalytic converters aren't sold for profit.
Young introduced House Bill 408 on Thursday, which would ban the sale of catalytic converters without proof of ownership. In a press release, Young's office said the bill is meant to "protect consumers from catalytic converter theft and create more transparent guidelines for businesses."
“Currently under the law, there is no accountability on these stolen items and they are easily taken from people’s vehicles. It’s my hope with this bill that we stop the sales of these converters to help our consumers, businesses and environment," Young said. "Catalytic converter theft harms businesses, individuals, insurance companies, the environment, and puts an undue burden on law enforcement.”
The precious metals inside the car part are worth thousands of dollars, and prices have skyrocketed since last year. One of those metals, rhodium, has gone for as much as $27,500 during the pandemic and is currently going for $15,800 an ounce.
Replacing a catalytic converter can cost thousands of dollars and driving around without a converter releases harmful emissions into the environment. Catalytic converters are easy to steal and policing these thefts is difficult – the parts don't have identification numbers, so they're hard to recover.
The bill awaits a committee assignment in the fall. Young is working with the Ohio Prosecutor's Association and the legislation is supported by the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.