PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There was an average of 21 catalytic converter thefts per month late in 2020, a spike from the average of 4 earlier in the year. Now, Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it harder for scrap metal businesses to buy or receive catalytic converters.

A catalytic converter is an emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants from your car’s exhaust.

The bill, requested by Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt, would require certain personal information be recorded when it comes to the sale of catalytic converters.

“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.”