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Lawmakers consider stronger rules to curb catalytic converter theft

State Senator Yasmin Trudeau (D-Tacoma) presides over hearing on Senate Bill 5740 (Image courtesy of TVW)

Another bill aimed at catalytic converter thieves is in the works in Olympia.

The people who go under your car and saw out the catalytic converter are going after the valuable precious metals, but their willingness to sell them in dark parking lots means they really just want cash.

Senate Bill 5740 would require everyone involved in these transactions to have valid licenses and keep thorough records, and it would make it a felony to sell at least 4 or 5 converters without meeting those requirements.

Prime sponsor Republican State Senator Jeff Wilson of Longview says, “That is a really good step in deterring and to, I guess, confronting crime that you may not have caught first underneath the car but you can catch later on during the transaction.  It’s called ‘show me the license.”

Brad Tower with scrap recycler, Schnitzer Steel, says they already have to be licensed and that this bill wouldn’t apply to thieves because it’s a business regulation.  “I think that the only thing we could do under Title 19 (which is one of the laws that regulate their industry) would be to charge someone with unlicensed practice, which is, at best, a monetary fine,” Tower says, “and I think that the current situation requires something more than that.”

The first vote on this bill in the Senate Law and Justice Committee is expected soon.  You can watch the entire hearing on TVW here.  It starts at the beginning of the video.

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