Texas Lawmakers Seek to Stop Catalytic Converter Theft

Feb. 1, 2023

Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise nationwide and many lawmakers are looking to prevent them, including representatives in Texas.

Feb. 1, 2023 – Lawmakers in Texas are producing legislation to try and prevent catalytic converter thefts in their state, KXAN reports.

Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, has filed SB 465, which makes it a criminal offense to possess a catalytic converter “linked to theft,” unless they are in a list of approved businesses, which will include places such as “automotive shops, metal recycling entities and salvage yards.” If an employee at an approved business is proven to have known the part was stolen, then they are not protected. 

Bettencourt said that organized crime is to blame for the rise in catalytic converter thefts, and in the bill, anyone found with a stolen catalytic converter who is also linked to organized crime will receive an elevated offense.

The theft of catalytic converters has increased nationwide due to many valuable metals inside of them, some of which are reportedly more valuable per ounce than gold currently.

“The theft of catalytic converters has become increasingly popular because of their value, relative ease to steal, and their lack of identifying markings,” the Department of Justice said in a press release from last year.