SACRAMENTO – The California Highway Patrol could join local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prevent catalytic converter theft thanks to a proposed Assembly bill.
AB 1653 was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Patterson and was approved in the Assembly Appropriations Committee Wednesday. The bill will help local law enforcement agencies struggling to keep up with the dramatic rise in catalytic converter theft by allowing counties in the hardest hit areas to seek additional support from the CHP. This would include help with theft ring investigations, logistical support, personnel, and equipment.
The theft of catalytic converters has risen dramatically throughout the state. In Los Angeles County, it is estimated that catalytic converter thefts were up by 400 percent in 2020. In Fresno County, reports of stolen catalytic converters went up over 900 percent from 2020 to 2021.
“Catalytic converter theft is hurting real people when they can least afford it,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson. “These crooks will saw off your catalytic converter in broad daylight in your own driveway and sell it for $300, but it costs you $2,000 to replace it. It’s time for the state to add additional resources to help put a stop to this.”
AB 1653 moves to the Assembly Floor for a vote.