Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill into law that'll make it harder for thieves to profit off stolen catalytic converters.
It's done in an effort to crack down on the sale of stolen parts. The law, also known as Senate Bill 256, enacts several new requirements to how motor vehicle recyclers, scrap metal processors, junk dealers, junk yard owners/operators and motor vehicle repair shops receive and sell catalytic converters.
State officials said catalytic converters contain precious metals and have been the target of a series of thefts. Thieves can get several hundred dollars for just one and there have been several thefts reported across the state lately.
Just in the past month, a few examples include the theft of more than a dozen catalytic converters at a Watertown nonprofit as well as parts stolen off 18 school buses in Plainville.
Under the new law, it'll now be illegal for motor vehicle recyclers to receive a car's catalytic converter unless it's physically attached to the car.
Recyclers will now also have to affix or write a stock number on the part and create written record of the transaction. This includes keeping track of the customer's name, address, phone number, license number and car's VIN number.
“Cracking down on the theft and vandalism of motor vehicles requires a multifaceted approach, and one of those tactics includes making it more difficult for criminals to profit from the sale of stolen parts,” Lamont said.
“This law also enacts new requirements that will help law enforcement more easily track down who is selling stolen parts and put a stop to their criminal activity. I thank the bipartisan members of the legislature for approving this bill and sending it to my desk so that I could sign it into law today. The easy ability to sell stolen parts is a major reason why motor vehicle theft and vandalism occurs, and this law will help serve as a deterrent," the governor continued.
Under the new law, scrap metal processors and junk dealers will have to electronically submit all of their information on catalytic converter sales to Connecticut State Police once per week.
We felt it was in best interest for the continued success of the auto recycling industry to simply make it illegal for an auto recycler to purchase off the street catalytic converters. After hearing about the people who were vandalized by this terrible crime on the news and social media, CAR hopes that if we cut off one of the avenues where these catalytic converters can be sold, it would add deterrence for the act to be done in the first place," Connecticut Auto Recyclers Association (CARS) said in a statement.
Sellers can now only sell one catalytic converter per day to a scrap metal dealer. The governor said scrap metal processors and junk dealers now have to pay a seller by check, which is mailed to their home address.
The new law takes effect July 1. For more information on the law, click here.
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