Catalytic Converter Thefts Surge More than 400%

According to one count, Illinois is currently the #3 state (behind California and Texas) in the number of catalytic converter thefts reported to insurers or police.


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 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 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.