On October 17, in Farmingdale, Governor Kathy Hochul announced new actions to increase interagency vehicle and catalytic converter theft enforcements in high-theft areas by targeting unauthorized and illegal vehicle dismantlers, or “chop shops.” The Governor also signed legislation to combat the theft of catalytic converters, which imposes restrictions on the purchase, sale, and possession of catalytic converters by vehicle dismantlers and scrap processors. Additionally, she urged local governments to access $20 million in funding for license plate readers, surveillance cameras, and other anti-theft technology.

“Public safety is my top priority, and we’re taking an aggressive, targeted approach to deter criminals from stealing catalytic converters,” Governor Hochul said. “Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed across our state and nation, and these comprehensive actions double down on our efforts to keep New Yorkers and their property safe, protecting our communities and cracking down on crime.”

For those unaware, catalytic converters are a key piece of a vehicle’s exhaust system, breaking down pollutants like smog that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Theft of catalytic converters is costly to auto dealers, as well as the driving public. It can cost a dealer $2,000 to $3,000 to replace a stolen converter to fix damage to a vehicle’s undercarriage, fuel line, and electric lines in the process of a theft.

In New York City, the New York Police Department initially reported that catalytic converter thefts have almost quadrupled in 2022. There have been 5,548 catalytic converter thefts in the city as of August 14, in comparison to 1,505 thefts during the same period in 2021.

Catalytic converter thefts in Nassau County are reportedly up 248 percent so far this year (445 for 2021, and 1,549 in 2022), and three times as many thefts so far this year in Suffolk County (289 in 2021, and 819 in 2022).

These comprehensive actions double down on our efforts to keep New Yorkers and their property safe, protecting our communities and cracking down on crime.

By QJL Staff

 

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