PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt testified in support of a bill concerning catalytic converters on Tuesday afternoon.
Senate Bill 803 would block scrap metal businesses from buying catalytic converters — except from commercial sellers. It also requires businesses to record the personal information of people selling those parts.
In part, Schmidt testified about how the thefts are hurting many people in the county and the state.
“I keep hearing from community members across Multnomah County and the state demanding action to address this issue that is plaguing Oregon. The rampant theft of catalytic converters must be met by using smart tactics that won’t put even more strain on our already exhaustively taxed law enforcement community. Oregon Senate Bill 803 does just that. It will work to quell the thefts of catalytic converters and to help stop their illegal sale,” Schmidt said.
“The theft of these devices can happen so quickly. The risk of apprehension is often very low yet the cash return for thieves is significant. This has created an exploding black and gray market for stolen catalytic converters that is driving significant losses to Oregon businesses and vehicle owners across the state.”
“Right now, thieves in Oregon are taking advantage of the fact that there is a thriving gray and black market for the sale of catalytic converters,” said Multnomah County DA spokesperson Brent Weisberg. “It takes just minutes for a thief to steal catalytic converters using cheap and easily transportable and concealable equipment, but the impact to vehicle owners is drastic and very costly. This is an issue plaguing our community and auto industry and we are looking forward to working with legislators to address it.”
KOIN 6 News spoke with the bill’s chief sponsor last week, Oregon State Senator Fred Gorsek. He says catalytic converters are too easy to steal and sell and the bill would cut down on these thefts.