Editor’s note: The following information was provided by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau.
STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives has approved legislation introduced by Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) designed to curb catalytic converter theft.
The bill (2022-H 7751A), which is cosponsored by Rep. Edward T. Cardillo Jr. (D-Dist. 42, Johnston, Cranston) and Rep. John J. Lombardi (D-Dist. 8, Providence), would require a purchaser of a catalytic converter to obtain a copy of the registration for the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed, unless the seller is a registered business that collects, stores, or sells a catalytic converter or any other motor vehicle parts, and would provide said copy to law enforcement.
“This legislation will crack down on a crime that is extremely costly to car owners,” said Representative Solomon, who chairs the House Corporations Committee, which heard
testimony on the legislation last week. “The perpetrators of this crime get pennies on the dollar for these converters while the cost of replacing them can be well over $1,000, especially if the car is damaged while criminals attempt to remove the converters quickly. This legislation would put the burden of responsibility on those who are actually accepting the catalytic converters to make sure they’re coming from legitimate sources. It will hold those who receive the converters to a high standard so they exercise a little social responsibility when dealing with those selling converters.”
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter theft has seen a significant increase across the country since March 2020, the start of the global pandemic.
“Taking these converters really hurts the most vulnerable in our society — people going to work every day, single mothers living paycheck to paycheck who now have an additional huge expense they can’t afford,” said Representative Solomon.
The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2022-S 2906) has been introduced by Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence).
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