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Bill To Increase Catalytic Converter Theft Penalties Gains Traction Across Indiana

An Indiana Senate Committee unanimously passed SB 167 to increase penalties for catalytic converter thefts.

Posted: Jan 12, 2021 8:25 PM

After enduring a year in which theft of a catalytic converter was filed 150 times, Johnson County Prosecutor Joe Villanueva asked an Indiana legislative committee to support a bill that would increase penalties for that crime.

Senate Bill 167, authored by Sen. Jack Sandlin, R-Indianapolis, adds catalytic converters, an exhaust emission control device, to a list of ‘component parts’ of a vehicle. The theft of any of these parts would result in a Level 6 felony. Because of the metal makeup of the converters and their location on cars, they are relatively easy to take off and are worth substantial sums of money at scrapyards.

The theft of catalytic converters is a big issue across parts of Indiana, Villanueva told lawmakers his office files one almost every other day. He said current law does not go far enough in holding offenders responsible.

“If this happens to someone, they’re looking at more than a thousand dollars in expenses, having their car towed, buying a new part, having it installed, not to mention possible loss in income because they can’t drive,” Villanueva said. “These are your constituents being harmed. Your neighbors, your local businesses.”

Villanueva thanked Sen. Sandlin for his work on the bill and the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law committee for hearing it. SB 167 passed out of the committee 8-0.

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The Tri-State is about to witness a metric ton of change over the next 36 hours or so, but before we get to the meat of the forecast let's focus on the hearer and the now - after seeing an absolutely gorgeous start to the work week with afternoon highs nearing the 70° mark and little to no cloud cover, clear skies will linger through the evening ahead and into tomorrow morning as temperature gradually dwindle into the upper 30s and low 40s area-wide. We'll fall to 42° in Evansville setting the stage for yet another mild, albeit far less quiet Tuesday ahead.
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