A Senate Republican on Thursday filed a proposal that would seek to curb thefts of vehicle catalytic converters.
Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, filed the proposal (SB 306) for consideration during the legislative session that will start in March. Rep. Fred Hawkins, R-St. Cloud, filed a similar bill (HB 185) last week.
The Senate bill would take a series of steps, including requiring people to keep detailed records about purchases or sales of catalytic converters that have been removed from vehicles.
It also, for example, would bar people from “knowingly” buying or selling stolen catalytic converters.
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The proposals come amid increases across the country in thefts of catalytic converters, at least in part because the emissions-control devices include valuable precious metals that can be resold.
The U.S. Department of Justice in November, for example, announced the “takedown” of a national network of catalytic-converter thieves, dealers, and processors.
“This national network of criminals hurt victims across the country,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement at the time. “They made hundreds of millions of dollars in the process — on the backs of thousands of innocent car owners.”