Deputy District Attorney Edward Furman Jr., director of the office’s Auto Theft Unit, testified before the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee on June 6 in support of legislation that would help prevent catalytic converter thefts in the commonwealth.
HB 791, sponsored by state Rep. MaryLouise Isaacson, of Philadelphia, would amend the Scrap Material Theft Prevention Act by providing further identification requirements for sale of scrap materials to scrap processors and recycling facility operators.
The legislation would expand current regulations on transactions that deal with the sale of catalytic converters in scrap metal yards and will add the following steps to be required before a transaction can be completed:
– Any individual that is trying to sell a catalytic converter to a scrap yard must provide the year, make, model and vehicle identification number for the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed
– Buyers of catalytic converters must photograph both the catalytic converter and the individual selling it at the time of sale
– Buyers must withhold payment for 48 hours after the purchase of a catalytic converter is completed
“In the end, the problem of catalytic converter thefts is fueled by the quick money the thieves can get from scrap yards or illegitimate businesses,” Furman said to the committee. “In investigating some of these scrap yards, it is the same individuals over and over going back to the yards selling converters they stole just hours before.
“Legislation like HB 791 will help to significantly reduce the market for stolen converters. It will help us to target the bad actors, significantly reduce sales of the stolen converters, and simply make the theft of catalytic converters far less lucrative.”