LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Catalytic converter theft is an ongoing problem across the country and the Las Vegas valley has seen plenty of it. The Nevada legislature is taking action with two separate bills to combat it.
Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system and most contain precious metals that make them worth stealing.
Seaquett Williams shared her own experience with catalytic converter theft. 8 News Now previously reported on William’s thefts after two of her catalytic converters were stolen from her church.
“The second one that was stolen was at the U-Haul lot and that’s what was so disheartening,” Williams said.
In the past week, the Nevada legislature proposed two bills that would combat the theft.
The first bill removes catalytic converters from the list of “scrap metals” and defines the offenses as felonies. In addition, it allows law enforcement to presume that anyone in possession of two or more catalytic converters likely stole them unless they are an authorized dealer.
The bill also assigns prison time based on the degree of the offense.
The second bill dives deeper into the fines that repeat offenders could face.
Erika Delgadillo with Sahara Muffler and Catalytic Converter Repair said she sees people on a daily basis coming in with their converter stolen or tampered with.
“The legislation, it’s good because they have been taking a while to do that, but we know it’s not going to 100% eliminate the problem, but at least for those stealing them, they will now be aware of the consequences for them,” Delgadillo said.
Those who have fallen victim to the crime agree.
“I think anything that going to deter people taking catalytic converters and selling them is a step in the right direction,” Williams said. “Certainly it could have helped us because that was 4,000 dollars worth of catalytic converters and for a small church that was a big hit for us.”
North Las Vegas has already passed an ordinance making it harder for criminals to sell and transfer catalytic converters, consisting of up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine if found with one illegally.
For those worried that they will be a target, those at Sahara Mufflers and Catalytic Converter Repair said installing cages around your catalytic converter can help prevent these thefts.