Houston city leaders float outlawing catalytic converter sales to non-metal recyclers

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston City Council's Public Safety Committee met on Thursday to discuss the increase in catalytic converter theft in the city.

The Houston Police Department confirms that in the first three months of 2022, it has seen more than 3,000 thefts alone. That number beats out the entire year of 2021 when catalytic converter thefts which reached up to 7,822.

There is a black market demand for three precious metals that are inside of the converter, which makes it a target, said an HPD commander.

In order to curb the theft, he proposes that it should be unlawful for anyone other than a metal recycler to have used a catalytic converter without proper documentation. The second is to make it illegal to buy a used or cut catalytic converter unless the buyer is a metal recycler.

He also recommends that there be a reporting requirement of the purchases of the hot item and for it to be logged into a law enforcement database.

There was one drawback during the meeting. One council member became skeptical of the potential requirements due to his belief that the people who steal the converters will ship them out of state.

This matter will be discussed again during a meeting at a later date.

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