A new bill proposed in Georgia aims to target catalytic converter thefts with stricter consequences, WJCL reports.
The bill would make it illegal to own a catalytic converter held by someone with no proof of owning it. It will also result in repeat offenders receiving a felony charge and up to possibly 10 years of jail time.
Georgia State Senator Bo Hatchett has sponsored the bill and said that it will make it “illegal to possess a used, detached, catalytic converter.” Those found to be possessing one must prove it wasn’t stolen through ways such as “having a title to a vehicle that the catalytic converter would be used in or having a receipt from a parts store that you purchased the catalytic converter,” Hatchett said.
Barry Wardlaw is the owner of Barry’s Muffler and Brake Center in Savannah, Georgia. He empathizes with the victims of theft that come into his shop seeking replacements.
“They got to have it. I feel bad for people. You can’t stand a thief. And they have to come in here and have to pay for it. There is nothing else I can do,” Wardlaw stated.
The bill passed the House and Senate “by a wide margin” and will now go to the governor’s desk.