WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – New senate bill 70, signed by Governor Bel Edwards, aims to bring harsher consequences for catalytic converter thieves, a profitable crime that’s been on the rise in the state of Louisiana.
Senate Bill 70 that creates the crime of “theft of a catalytic converter or engine control module” was introduced by senator Kirk Talbot, and this law aims to hold more people accountable
“It’s just wrong, we shouldn’t steal. A friend of mine has a mechanic shop and he had a bunch of them, and somebody came that night and stole them and that is just wrong,” said a local resident, Donna Cole.
Catalytic converters have become greater targets for theft because of the use of the precious metals such as rhodium, palladium and platinum to filter car exhaust.
This bill introduces a sliding scale of prison terms depending on the value of the parts that were stolen.
- A stolen value of $1,000 or less, jail time will be between not less than 90 days, nor more than six months with a fine not more than $1,000.
- A value of $1,000 or more but less than $5,000, jail time will be not less than 2 years, nor more than 5 years, or fined not more than $3,000.
- A value of $5,000 or more but less than $25,000, jail time will be not less than 5 years, nor more than 10 years or fined not more than $10,000.
- A value of $25,000, jail time will be not less than 10 years nor more than 20 years, or fined not more than $50,000.
“I hope they get punished if they catch them. Maybe that will stop some of the crime,” said Cole.
Those purchasing catalytic converters will soon need a registration requirement. The bill will take effect on August 1.