🚗 NJ has a new law aimed at stopping thefts of catalytic converters
🚗 Scrap yards must follow strict rules when buying used converters
🚗 The law is expected to help reduce auto theft in the state

Over the past year, there has been a sharp uptick in catalytic converter thefts across New Jersey but a new law has just gone into effect that’s designed to put the brakes on that trend.

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed S249, which will make it more difficult for bad actors to sell stolen catalytic converters to scrap yards, and easier for law enforcement to identify, locate and prosecute violators.

The new law amends the definition of “scrap metal” to explicitly include all or part of a used catalytic converter that is not attached to a motor vehicle, and requires scrap yards to document a vehicle’s VIN, the certificate of title or registration, a receipt from a repair transaction or a bill of sale from anyone who tries to sell a catalytic converter to them.

Scrap Metal Yards See Increase In Business
Scott Olson, Getty Images

Strict new rules

The law also specifies scrap metal businesses are only allowed to purchase used catalytic converters from a person (other than a seller) that has a registered business that collects, stores, or sells catalytic converters or other vehicle parts on a regular basis.

After signing the measure into law, Gov. Murphy said that “addressing catalytic converter theft is another method of combating auto theft and crime in our state."

“We take serious the safety of our residents and communities and will continue to confront this issue head-on to further the tremendous progress we have made in reducing auto thefts.”

vladans GettyImages
vladans GettyImages

Colonel Pat Callahan, the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said the new law “represents a significant step in assisting law enforcement officers throughout the state to reduce auto thefts and the illegal sale of catalytic converters.”

The new law is now in effect.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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