Brooklyn Park Reports Drop in Catalytic Converter Thefts
On a day Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed new catalytic converter theft prevention legislation into law, Brooklyn Park police report a drop in the crime.
According to state law enforcement, the bill gives the rest of the country “a very good roadmap” to curb catalytic converter thefts.
“We’re going to put an environment in place in Minnesota that dissuades this type of criminal activity from occurring. This bill does just that in many different ways,” said Drew Evans, superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The bill, HF 30, would make Minnesota the first state to develop a database to specifically track catalytic converter sales. It would also require dealers to keep additional records and purchase only converters with vehicle identification markings. In addition, the legislation creates a new set of penalties for someone possessing catalytic converters without ID markings on them.
Catalytic converters reduce pollutants in vehicle exhaust systems. They are a target for thieves due to their precious metals such a rhodium, which is valued at 12 times the price of gold. For victims, they’re also difficult and expensive to replace.
“It can take months to obtain a replacement catalytic converter,” said Brian Sturgeon, police chief in the city of West St. Paul, who spoke at Tuesday’s bill signing. “It’s a huge financial burden to many in our community.”
After Record High, Brooklyn Park Reports Drop in Catalytic Converter Thefts
Catalytic converter thefts have become a big problem in Minnesota. According to law enforcement, Minnesota trails only California and Texas in such crimes.
The city of Brooklyn Park also saw a record high for that type of theft with close to 100 reports from January through March of last year. This year, however, it has seen only 17 such crimes through nearly the same time period.
Brooklyn Park police Inspector Elliot Faust said there’s no clear reason for the drop. But he did indicate there’s increased awareness on the issue. Faust also said overall crime is down 27 percent from last year.
Also See: Brooklyn Park Catalytic Converter Theft Caught on Video