Gov. Walz ceremoniously signs anti-catalytic converter theft bill

(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ceremoniously signed a bill on Tuesday afternoon cracking down on catalytic converter theft.

The bill was already signed into law last week, but the governor was joined by members of law enforcement during the signing ceremony.

RELATED: Gov. Walz signs bill targeting catalytic converter thefts

“There [are] things we can do to both make it harder to do some of these things and then sending a very strong message of accountability. If you’re a person either stealing these or buying these catalytic converters, there needs to be a harsh penalty for it,” said Walz.

The bill requires anyone buying a catalytic converter to keep detailed records of who they bought it from, and people without proper documentation could face criminal penalties.

Catalytic converters contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium and can fetch a pretty penny at scrapyards.

Recent studies of insurance claims, including one by State Farm, place Minnesota in the top five states for catalytic converter thefts which industry experts attribute to a loophole in state law that doesn’t require scrap yards to catalog their transactions.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts rose by over 325% from 2019 to 2020. Replacing these parts imposes significant financial costs to vehicle owners, often between $500 to $2,300 and can even result in a total loss to the vehicle.