With the ongoing theft of catalytic converters from automobiles on the rise, State Representative Amy Elik (R-Alton) filed legislation to make it a felony for individuals that stockpile stolen catalytic converters from vehicles.
“If your catalytic converter is stolen from your car, it can cost as much as $3,000 to replace it,” said Rep. Elik. “We are seeing an increase in theft because criminals can get anywhere from $25 to over $1,000 by selling the stolen car part at a scrap dealer. Improving the law by making it a felony if you illegally purchase more than 100 catalytic converters will help deter criminals from stealing this expensive automotive part, as criminals will not have anywhere to go to sell the stolen converter.”
In September, police seized 287 catalytic converters from a scrap-metal business in East Alton that is accused of illegally buying the parts. And in Chicago, the theft of catalytic converters has nearly tripled compared to a year ago.
State Representative Amy Elik filed legislation aimed at reducing the theft of catalytic converters following a recent letter from Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine suggesting that lawmakers amend the Recyclable Metal Purchase Registration Law to make it a felony to stockpile multiple catalytic converters.
According to State’s Attorney Tom Haine, “We appreciate the attention that our lawmakers are giving to this growing problem. This legislation would help to dry up the market for stolen catalytic converters, and thus serve to deter would-be thieves. These thefts are a costly burden for the victims, and they drive up insurance premiums for all Illinois vehicle owners.”
The legislation filed by Representative Amy Elik (HB 5828) on October 26 provides that any recyclable metal dealer or other person who knowingly fails to record the purchase of 100 or more catalytic converters is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Rep. Elik’s legislation is co-sponsored by lawmakers representing Madison County which include State Representatives CD Davidsmeyer and Charlie Meier. Madison County area lawmakers want to see the legislature take action on this important legislation in the upcoming veto session scheduled to begin on Tuesday, November 15.