Washington sees largest catalytic converter theft increase in U.S

A report shows a 10,000% increase in converter thefts since 2019 in Washington.

SEATTLE — Vy Nguyen, who started out as a mechanic at Kellan Auto Repair five years ago, claims he’s seen an increase in customers coming in with stolen catalytic converters. What takes minutes to steal leads to hours of work and a sizable price tag to replace.

“Usually about a thousand or two. Some vehicles are more expensive,” Nguyen said.

If it feels like this is a growing problem in Washington state, a new report from public data company BeenVerified confirms it is.

“As of 2019, this three-year time frame, if you look at that, it’s 10,000 percent different from last year versus 2019. Thefts so far this year alone are more than 2019 and 2020 combined,” said Kerry Sherin, a consumer advocate for BeenVerified.

The last state legislature passed legislation requiring scrap buyers to have more paperwork when purchasing catalytic converters and created a task force to investigate the issue. State Senator Jeff Wilson believes that’s not enough.

“What we need is action and we need a direct plan to deal with these crimes,” Wilson said. “In this session, I am more than happy to reintroduce some tougher laws.”

As lawmakers work to address the issue, Nguyen explains that you can add a steel plate as a preventive measure.

“You can screw it around the catalyst, that’s the only way out,” Nguyen said.

Although a deterrent, thieves can cut through most of a car if they want to, but it may help make things a little harder for them.

According to BeenVerified, June is the worst month for this type of theft in Washington.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/crime/washington-largest-catalytic-converter-theft-increase/281-6f84904d-c779-44d6-8cd3-fae71fe871b7 Washington sees largest catalytic converter theft increase in U.S

Alley Einstein

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