Texas Bill To Fight Catalytic Converter Theft

Catalytic converter | Image by Ulianenko Dmitrii/Shutterstock

The Texas Senate is debating a bill to raise criminal penalties for stealing catalytic converters.

As The Dallas Express previously reported, catalytic converter theft has skyrocketed in North Texas and nationwide, along with auto theft.

Catalytic converter thefts spiked 109% from June 2021 to June 2022 and are up 400% since 2019 nationwide, according to State Farm Insurance. Only California leads Texas in the number of total catalytic converter thefts claimed.

According to information made available to The Dallas Express by Dallas police, however, reported catalytic converter thefts in Dallas are down 46% year-to-date.

But the sharp increase in thefts is placing financial pressure on consumers and insurers alike, prompting the Texas legislature to deter potential thieves by enacting harsher penalties.

Senate Bill 432, currently in the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, would allow police to charge anyone found in possession of a stolen catalytic converter with a state jail felony.

A state jail felony carries a penalty of anywhere from 180 days to two years of incarceration.

Dallas police provided an overview of their efforts to stop catalytic converter theft to The Dallas Express:

“The Dallas Police Department is aware of catalytic converter thefts throughout the city. As you know property crime drives the majority of crime not only in Dallas but in the US. We have officers in a uniformed extra patrols capacity along with conducting Crimewatch meetings educating the public on various crime preventative tips.”

The Department also provided a list of tips for citizens to keep their property safe:


  • Park in a manner that will prevent easy access under the vehicle.
  • Consider etching a serial number onto the catalytic converter to help identify it.
  • Go to your local garage and ask them to install extra bolts to help secure the catalytic converter to the frame of the vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Install an alarm on your vehicle.
  • If possible, park your vehicle inside a garage.

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  1. Pap

    Seems to me they need to find the sellers and check their books. People aren’t going to steal them unless they have a buyer. Years ago, had that problem with hubcaps. Went to a place many years ago that had tons of hubcaps. Most of them were probably stolen and sold for pennies on the dollar.

  2. RSW

    Email TX Senator Mayes Middleton, the author of SB432 and ask him to draft a companion bill to attack the BUYER side of this problem. I agree with the idea that nobody is going to seat catalytic converters if there is no place for them to sell them. Go after the scrap metal dealers who are BUYING the stolen property. Seize their assets and give them mandatory jail time with no option for parole. Email TX Senator Mayes Middleton, the author of SB432. Here is a link to the email form on his web site: https://senate.texas.gov/memberform.php?auth=fN%2BJmwh%2Flku9Gf9RiIzfq2VLP4GSLAnyYXHDyTYgSoA6XzpfOnoTsBvzIn2cH011D4Svkvs8zTC3GfOxghTky19GHHR8JQqzOnw6fDoG7EpwhC%2Fw2iNbGXpgUy8X&lang=en

  3. Paul W.

    Until the people buying them get prison(not State Jail)sentences this will continue. There may have to be a special law enforcement agency to monitor who is buying scrap copper, aluminum, and catalytic converters. 180 days is not going to deter the low lifes that steal this stuff.

  4. John Gault

    Harsher penalties for this activity should include minors as well as adults, and sellers as well as buyers.
    Within the gang culture, gang murders were left up to minors under 18 years of age because the penalties were so much more lenient. The same thing will happen with these crimes unless it is made clear that everyone gets the same punishment regardless of age or circumstance.

  5. ksm

    This is good. Now, how about passing safe gun laws. Thousands of innocent people in this country are killed/injured each year on account of gun related violence. After the shootings at Uvalde, Ted Cruz went there and said “our thoughts and prayers” are with those who were killed and then went straight to Houston to attend the NRA meet there. No action was taken to pass safe gun laws.


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