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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 16, 2022 04:47 PM
From: Senator Marty Flynn
To: All Senate members
Subject: Treatment and Sentencing Guidelines for Theft of Catalytic Converters
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that outlines specific sentencing and treatment requirements for individuals convicted of theft of catalytic converters.

An integral component of a vehicle’s exhaust system, catalytic converters are usually located underneath a vehicle and contain a number of valuable metal components that can be resold. Catalytic converters can be sold for $500 or more on the black market, due to the demand for the various metals that they contain. According to the Associated Press, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported a 400% increase in catalytic converter thefts from 2019 to 2020 – from 3,389 to 14,433. Law enforcement indicates that catalytic converter thefts are often tied to drug use, with investigations of perpetrators often finding drugs either on the person or in the vehicle.

My legislation will require that a person convicted of theft of a catalytic converter while under the influence of a controlled substance must receive substance abuse treatment as a part of any sentence the court imposes. Further, a person convicted of a third or subsequent offense of theft of a catalytic converter shall be sentenced to a minimum sentence of one year.

I believe that this enforcement framework will address the root cause of catalytic converter thefts among many street-level offenders, while also deterring repeated offenses by imposing a minimum sentence for a third infraction.