The number of catalytic converter thefts in San Luis Obispo, California has seen a dramatic decrease following new laws targeting the issue, KSBY reports.
In 2021, the San Luis Obispo Police Department reported 175 catalytic converters stolen. The following year, it was 117. A big change was seen this year, however, when it was revealed only 12 catalytic converters had been stolen between January and May.
This stark decline was the result of three state laws being put into place at the beginning of this year: the creation of a CHP task force that investigates catalytic converter thefts, restricting who is able to sell the part, and requiring metal recyclers to keep records on the vehicle information of catalytic converters they purchase.
Local auto shop Rizzoli’s Automotive operates five locations and has seen customers with stolen catalytic converters becoming less frequent as well.
According to Service Advisor Richard Heystee, it was common to have customers with stolen converters come in up to twice a week. Now, he describes it as a rare occurrence, with fewer than 10 cases being seen this year. The shop also offers free catalytic converter etching.
San Luis Obispo Police Deputy Chief Brian Amoroso credits the success to the recent laws as well as public outreach made by the police department.
“Looking at about the first half of the year so far, we have seen a reduction of about 89% from 2021 figures, and down about 85% from last year,” Amoroso said.