A new popular crime last year is being addressed by a new proposal to the Washington state legislature this year.
Longview lawmaker says it’s time to crack down on thieves
The new bill introduced last month by Senator Jeff Wilson, R-Longview, targets the growing crime of catalytic converter theft in Washington state.
Wilson says Senate Bill 5495 prohibits scrap dealers from purchasing catalytic converters except from commercial companies and vehicle owners. Scrap dealers who knowingly buy or receive stolen catalytic converters face criminal charges.
Wilson says he’s taking action to prevent further thefts
Wilson says he is taking action because he fears thieves will flee Oregon state this month and start robbing Washington state. That’s because a new law is now in effect in Oregon that also targets catalytic converter theft.
Wilson’s bill also requires scrap dealers to confirm ownership when catalytic converters are resold and to keep records of vehicle identification numbers. Cash payments could not be made on site and would have to be delayed for at least five days. Wilson says, âCatalytic converter theft has become the crime of the day. We see reports on every police blotter in every corner of the state. And crime has exploded in the past year alone.
Thieves are looking for precious metals
So why is crime so popular? Due to the rising price of precious metals used in catalytic converters, which filter exhaust gases and convert them into less toxic pollutants.
Yakima police do not say how many catalytic converter thefts occurred in Yakima last year, but authorities up and down the valley say it is a problem.