NICB Issued a Formal Announcement Applauding the Action
As part of his last day in office, Governor Baker signed a new bill looking to deter the growing problem of catalytic converter theft by penalizing an unauthorized sale. The Bill, entitled “An Act Relative to the Sale of Old Metals and Vehicle Catalytic Converters“, will require all sales of catalytic converters within the Commonwealth be authorized via “proof of identification in addition to a bill of sale or other legal document demonstrating ownership of the catalytic converter.” In response to the bill’s passage, the National Insurance Crime Bureau issued a press release applauding its passage.
“We have seen a dramatic 1,215% increase of catalytic converter theft nationwide since the pandemic began. Vehicle crime and catalytic converter theft is plaguing our country and more needs to be done,” said NICB President and CEO David Glawe. “NICB thanks former Governor Baker, the Massachusetts state legislature, and many of our great partners and stakeholders for their work in passing this bill.”
In addition to requiring proof of ownership, the Bill also outlines additional record-keeping requirements, along with penalties for violations of the new statute including a potential fine of up to $2,500.
Why Catalytic Converters Are Coveted
According to the NCIB, the main reason why catalytic converters are being stolen is due to the quantity of precious metals found within them, in particular rhodium, palladium and platinum, and their increasing values in the technological age. For example, the NCIB states that as of December 2020, the precious metal rhodium was valued at $14,500 per ounce, while palladium was $2,336 per ounce, and platinum was appraised at $1,061 per ounce.
As of May 2022, the prices now stand as follows: rhodium is $20,000 per ounce, palladium at $2,938 per ounce and platinum at $1,128 per ounce. As the values of the metals increase, so do the thefts of catalytic converters, which can be sold to recyclers for $50 to $250 a piece.
With the adoption of Bill H. 5356, Massachusetts joins the growing list of states passing legislation to help stop these thefts. For those interested in viewing the new law, an official copy of the Bill can be accessed here: