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Over the past several years, catalytic converter thefts in Texas have been on the rise. To combat the problem, lawmakers passed legislation in 2021 making it a felony to steal, buy or sell stolen catalytic converters in Texas. In this article, we are going to explain the crime and consequences of catalytic converter theft in Texas and answer some frequently asked questions about this unusual trend.

What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is a muffler-shaped device on the underside of a vehicle that helps reduce harmful emissions from a vehicle’s engine. Catalytic converters are required by law on all new vehicles sold in the United States.

catalytic converter

Why are catalytic converters being stolen?

Catalytic converters contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which makes them attractive to people looking to make quick money. After stealing the catalytic converter, they turn around and sell the car part to junkyards, metal recyclers, or on the black market.

Why has there been an increase in catalytic converter thefts in Texas?

The price of the precious metals contained in catalytic converters has increased in recent years in Texas and across the county, which has led to an increase in thefts. Platinum, palladium, and rhodium all sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars per ounce.

How is catalytic converter theft committed?

Most catalytic converter thefts are committed by someone who slides under a vehicle and cuts off the catalytic converter with a small, battery-operated saw with a metal cutting blade. The process takes minutes. Catalytic converters are often stolen from driveways and apartment parking lots.

What are the consequences of catalytic converter theft in Texas?

Catalytic converter theft in Texas is now a felony offense. In June 2021, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 4110, which made it a state jail felony to steal, buy or sell stolen catalytic converters.

A state felony is punishable by six months to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum $10,00 fine. If the defendant has been previously convicted of catalytic converter theft in Texas, they face a third-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.

What does the new catalytic converter theft law require?

Among other things, the new law requires people selling catalytic converters to provide the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number from the vehicle in which the part was removed. It also requires metal recycling facilities to take a thumbprint of the person selling them the catalytic converter and mark each catalytic converter with a unique number. Failure to abide by these regulations could result in a criminal offense.

Charged with catalytic converter theft in Fort Worth or surrounding areas? Contact Us.

If you have been charged with catalytic converter theft, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We can help. Our team has successfully defended thousands of felony cases in Fort Worth and will work diligently to obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Call Varghese Summersett today at 817-203-2220 for a free consultation with a catalytic converter theft lawyer in Fort Worth.

Varghese Summersett is a premier criminal defense firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our attorneys focus exclusively on criminal law and represent clients charged with crimes at both the state and federal level. We handle everything from DWI to capital murder to white collar crime. Collectively, our attorneys bring together more than 100 years of criminal law experience and have tried more than 550 cases before Texas juries. All of our senior attorneys served as former state or federal prosecutors and four are Board Certified in Criminal law, the highest designation an attorney can reach. We are the firm people turn to when the stakes are high and they are facing the biggest problem in their lives. - Contact Varghese at  
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