Local City Clamps Down on Auto-Part Theft


Catalytic converts and exhaust parts for recycle | Image by fru-fru/Shutterstock

Addison city officials are responding to a sharp increase in catalytic converter thefts by adopting a new ordinance that would fine individuals found in possession of a detached converter.

The city council voted to approve the new law Tuesday, making such possession a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine unless the alleged offender can prove the auto part is his or he is a metal recycler, according to WFAA.

Other cities like Frisco have made similar moves in a bid to get these particular thefts under control, fighting against a nationwide tide of thieves looking to cash in on the valuable car part, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

Catalytic converters have been required auto parts on gas-powered vehicles since the 1970s, and many are quite valuable on the black market because of the metals they can be made of, like platinum, rhodium, and palladium, reported KETK.

While catalytic converter thefts have garnered the most publicity in recent years, thefts of all different kinds of car parts continue, especially in Dallas, where property crimes soared in the wake of Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot’s ill-fated “theft amnesty policy,” as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

According to the City of Dallas Crime Analytics Overview dashboard, thefts of motor vehicle parts or accessories increased significantly, jumping from 5,653 reported incidents in 2021 to 6,704 in 2022, a spike of 18.6%.

The Dallas Express reached out to the Dallas Police Department (DPD) about the increase. Senior Corporal Brian E. Martinez responded, providing some helpful tips for drivers.

“[DPD] is aware of the rise 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.”

Martinez advised that drivers park in well-lit areas (preferably inside a garage), install an alarm in the vehicle, etch the serial number onto the catalytic converter in case it is stolen, and have a mechanic install extra bolts to help secure the part to the vehicle’s frame.

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