New bill aims to hold metal recycling companies accountable in catalytic converter thefts

BATON ROUGE – Amid catalytic converter thefts, lawmakers really feel that present laws relating to scrap metals don’t seem to be suitable, and proposed a invoice with extra strict penalties for shady companies.

“[Catalytic converter thefts are] a nationwide problem. I mean, it’s really huge in every state. All states are frantically trying to get bills passed,” stated Representative Jonathan Goudeau.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed for the reason that onset of the pandemic.

Insurance claims knowledge displays 3,400 thefts in 2019 and greater than 14,000 in 2020, a 325% building up. They’re nonetheless running to get the knowledge from ultimate 12 months.

In February, WBRZ reported broadly on a large robbery ring during the parish. Baton Rouge police arrested Matthew Gibson and his spouse Brooke after confiscating greater than 100 catalytic converters at their house.

“I thought he was running a mechanic shop out of there because that’s what it looked like in his garage, and there were always cars there,” neighbor Cindy Popadic stated in the past.

Current regulations may just penalize the ones stuck with the stolen pieces.

New regulations would hang extra folks responsible.

“The person stealing it, to the person transporting it out of state, which is where the biggest problem is coming from to someone that is buying it as well similar to the gun bills,” Goudeau stated.

Lafayette consultant Jonathan Goudeau is considered one of a number of lawmakers looking to crack down on all events accountable, together with scrap yards purchasing the valuable steel inside of converters.

His proposal would carry harsher punishment.

“One of the big differences in mine is it’s going to have the mandatory jail time for each occurrence. It’s going to have restitution involved in it as well too,” he defined.

Right now, Goudeau and a number of other different state lawmakers are running to consolidate a number of expenses into one hoping to streamline this procedure.

He does not be expecting any opposition.

“I in point of fact do not see any opposition to the invoice. The automotive affiliation is at the back of it 100%. The sheriffs affiliation is in point of fact on board with this, so you have got a large number of associations. This is a big drawback national.”

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