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Governor Gavin Newsom signs Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi's bill to stop black market sales of catalytic converters

For immediate release:

Torrance, CA – California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi's (D-Torrance) AB 1740, which will discourage the theft and subsequent black market sale of catalytic converters. This bill requires that any core recycler (purchaser) of catalytic converters only purchase catalytic converters from a commercial enterprise or from the verifiable owner of the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed. If an individual wishes to sell their catalytic converter, they must have the converter etched with the source vehicle's VIN and provide a matching title.

To prove that the purchase was not made on the black market, the core recycler must provide certain information from the transaction, including the name and address of each person to whom the catalytic converter is sold and the quantity of the catalytic converters being sold or shipped. Also, the core recycler must keep name of the seller or the seller's agent, the date of transaction and the amount of money that was paid for the catalytic converter. The core recycler must keep and maintain this information for no less than two years.

"We need to protect our community against the growing increase of catalytic converter thefts across the state," said Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi. "No one should have to worry that their catalytic converters will be stolen from their driveway or when parked on the street. AB 1740 will ensure that any purchaser of a catalytic converter is a licensed commercial enterprise and will make it more difficult for illegal sellers to get rid of their stolen goods."

Catalytic converter thefts have increased dramatically in the past three years. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts increased 325 percent, from around 3,000 thefts in 2019 to over 14,000 in 2020. According to State Farm, California leads the nation in catalytic converter thefts, with 3 in 10 converter theft claims being filed in California. These thefts are becoming more brazen and violent, with perpetrators often armed with guns. Catalytic converter thefts have led to multiple shootings with at least one homicide in California. This bill will make it more difficult for these perpetrators to profit from their increasingly dangerous crimes.

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi represents California's 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson. Muratsuchi is the Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies and the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and is a member of the Assembly Committees on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy, and Veterans Affairs.

CONTACT: Kerry Jacob, 310-806-0893