Fri, May 13, 2022 12:39 PM
By Tom Joyce The Center Square contributor, The Center Square
(The Center Square) – Arizona enacted a law that lawmakers hope will crack down on catalytic converter theft.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2652 into law.
The law adds many provisions to Arizona law aimed at helping law enforcement track these stolen catalytic converters sold on the black market.
State Rep. Diego Espinoza, D-Tolleson, sponsored the bill. It passed 46-3 in the Arizona House of Representatives on Monday.
Lawmakers amended the bill with an "emergency clause" that meant it would take effect as soon as Ducey signed it into law on Monday.
Espinoza said that fixing the law should help curb this problem.
"Thousands of Arizonans have been victims of this crime and it is only getting worse. The cost to repair and replace a catalytic converter and related vehicle damages can be huge," Espinoza said in a press release. "This bill will give law enforcement enhanced tools and resources to stop the theft of catalytic converters and catch the thieves committing this heinous crime."
Catalytic converter theft has spiked amid the coronavirus pandemic. There were 72 reported thefts in Phoenix in 2019. In 2020, that increased to 715 and in 2021, that spiked to 4,700 thefts. Additionally, in February 2022, there were 690 reported thefts in Phoenix alone, according to Fox 10.