Legislatures partner with law enforcement on legislation to reduce theft of catalytic converters

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Republican County Legislators Karla Boyce (R-5) and Paul Dondorfer (R-9) have partnered with local law enforcement to seek solutions to reduce the theft and scrapping for profit of catalytic converters in Monroe County.

This crime is on the rise due to the increase in scrap value of the metals and minerals found in these devices on nearly all vehicles.

Gates police say catalytic converters help control a vehicle’s emissions. Lt. Dave Sapienza says 11 have been stolen since May. “The primary target seems to be commercial trucks and vans although they’ll also steal off of regular passenger cars,” he explained.

Legislators and law enforcement are looking to a local law passed by the County Legislature in 2013, which they say curbed a rash of thefts caused by the quick profiting of valuable items at local pawn shops. In a statement, the county legislatures made the following suggestions:

  • Mandating cash payouts of scrapped catalytic converters are not disbursed until 14 days after the converter is delivered to a scrap yard.
  • Require scrap businesses obtain copies of a valid driver’s license or other government issued ID from individuals scrapping catalytic converters.
  • Require scrap businesses obtain copies of documentation proving ownership of any vehicle that has a catalytic converter scrapped, such as registration or vehicle title.
  • Require any auto-body or mechanics shops to provide documentation that any catalytic converter being scrapped is from a vehicle that was serviced by that business, such as a copy of a receipt for work done.
  • Mandate scrap businesses keep the records of scrapped catalytic converters for no less than 3 years for law enforcement to follow up on investigations into stolen converters.

“Going to a scrap yard with a perfectly good stolen catalytic converter and turning it in for cash is one of the easiest crimes to commit,” Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode said in a statement. “Our local businesses have paid out thousands of dollars in stolen converters.”   

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