District Attorney George Gascón announced this week that a bill he sponsored to curb catalytic converter thefts was passed by the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee, bringing it one step closer to becoming law.

“These thefts continue to take place in Los Angeles County and throughout the state of California,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Today’s approval is the first step toward protecting our community members from catalytic converter theft.”

Senate Bill 986 will prohibit automobile dealers and retailers from selling a new or used vehicle unless the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) has been engraved or etched onto its catalytic converter.

The bill would also require core recyclers to record any unique identification number etched or engraved on a catalytic converter in addition to all other current identification requirements.

There has been a sharp rise in catalytic converter thefts nationwide since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. California is among the top five states for catalytic converter thefts, according to the agency.

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