New bill signed into law to help curb catalytic converter thefts

(ABC 6 News) – Starting in August it will be illegal in the state of Minnesota for people to possess a used catalytic converter. The bill creates a harsher penalty for thieves but also tracks those who buy as well. Under the new law if someone is charged with stealing a number of catalytic converters, they could face felony charges.

Captain Tim Parkin with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office says the bill is a step in the right direction.

“From a law enforcement perspective, we are pleased that finally some form of legislation has been past and now have the ability to act on it,” said Capt. Parkin.

In addition, this bill would put some restrictions on scrap yards. For example, dealers will not be allowed to sell a catalytic converter less than five days after they purchase it. Catalytic converters are targeted by thieves is because of the rare valuable earth metals in them.

According to Tilson’s Auto Repair in Rochester the cost of getting a catalytic converter replaced depends on the vehicle but could range between 1,000 and 4,000 dollars and that’s just the cost of the part without adding on service charges.