INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that will regulate the transaction of catalytic converters in Indiana was signed into law Monday by Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Senate Bill 293defines the converters as a "major component part" of a vehicle, which makes it so that only licensed salvage recyclers can buy or sell them, according to a news release from the Office of the Indiana Secretary of State.
It also requires salvage recyclers to keep the same records for converters as valuable metal dealers, places a $25 per day cap on cash payouts for detached converters, and mandates that businesses that buy or sell converters be licensed with the Secretary of State’s Auto Dealer Services Division.
It comes after Indiana saw arise in thefts of the devices.
The metal inside of the converter is valuable and had nearly tripled around May last year.
A local mechanic told WRTV at the time they sold for $20 to a couple of hundred dollars at scrap yards, depending on scrap prices.
The cost of replacement and labor can cost between $1,000 to $3,000, according to Secretary of State Holli Sullivan.
"Every day Hoosiers’ vehicles across our state are targeted by thieves looking to make a quick buck by cutting out catalytic converters," Sullivan said in a statement.
"The metal component can be stolen in a matter of minutes but can set back unsuspecting car owners thousands of dollars for repair and replacement. Through our Auto Dealer Services Division, we are committed to slowing this trend and protecting Hoosiers’ hard-earned money."
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there were just over 100 converter thefts per month on average in 2018. In 2020, there was an average of just over 1,200 a month with a steady climb throughout the year.
Insurance companies suggest you have your car’s VIN number engraved on your catalytic converter to help track it if it’s stolen.
Police suggest trying to park your vehicle in well-lit areas away from trees and bushes and park it in a garage if you can.
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