State Targets Catalytic Convertor Thefts

By Staff Writer August 08, 2021

This summer, a new consumer protection law in Tennessee is addressing the rising theft and resale of catalytic converters across the state.

“This new law was created with the input of scrap metal professionals in order to create greater protections for hardworking consumers and business owners,” said state Assistant Commissioner Alex Martin. “This law will ensure that unattached catalytic converters being sold to dealers originated from salvaged or wrecked vehicles and not stolen from vehicles. 

Dealerships have reported a rise in catalytic convertor thefts, so this may help them, too.

Catalytic converters contain precious metals that have drawn increased interest from thieves who aim to make a quick buck by stealing and then reselling them. A growing problem for consumers and law enforcement ocials alike, thefts of converters climbed to 1,203 a month in 2020 compared to 282 a month in 2019, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

TDCI’s Scrap Metal  Registration Program, which went into effect last month, requires that any person engaged in the business of buying and/or selling scrap metal including unattached catalytic converters as a single item and not as part of a scrapped motor vehicle shall give written notification to the chief of police and sheri of each city and county in which the activity occurs.

They must be registered as a scrap metal dealer, which means providing either a state or federally issued photo identification card with an address and a thumbprint, submitting an application, paying the appropriate fee and meeting all requirements under the law. A scrap metal dealer shall not purchase or otherwise acquire a used, detached catalytic converter, or any nonferrous metal part of such converter unless the used, detached catalytic converter is purchased at the fixed site of the scrap metal dealer in an in-person transaction or the dealer must maintain a fixed site; obtains, verifies and all identification and documentation required by the law; and obtains and maintains a copy of the seller’s license or a copy of the documentation and vehicle registration.

Violations of this new law can result in a Class A misdemeanor. Additionally, the seller of a detached, stolen catalytic converter is liable to the victim for the repair and replacement of the converter.

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Last modified on Monday, 16 August 2021 12:27