Harris County attorney introduces regulations for reselling catalytic converters

During Tuesday’s commissioner’s court meeting, Harris County attorney Christian D. Menefee introduced regulations addressing the reselling of stolen catalytic converters.

“Harris County has been plagued by a recent increase in thefts of catalytic converters, some of which have turned deadly. These new guidelines regulate the reselling of catalytic converters. Not only will it be harder to make money from stolen items, but we are also creating a tracking system for buying and selling,” said Menefee. “My office worked closely with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to develop a plan that we’re hopeful will prevent these types of crimes in the future.”

The new regulations set specific guidelines for anyone purchasing or receiving a catalytic converter, including ensuring the person selling the item has a verifiable receipt from a repair facility.

It will also make it illegal for any person or entity other than a metal recycler to possess a used catalytic converter that was cut from a vehicle instead of unbolted unless proper documentation can be provided.

The Harris County regulations come a few weeks after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city council announced the passing of an ordinance that also addresses the increase in thefts and the resale of stolen catalytic converters.

The city of Houston ordinance was made to top business-to-business reselling of stolen exhaust emission control devices and make it necessary for anyone in possession of a cut catalytic converter to show proof of ownership. Failure to show ownership could result in a misdemeanor charge for each one.

“There is no question the theft of catalytic converter leads to other violent crimes,” said Mayor Turner. “We are addressing this problem as part of the overall One Safe Houston initiative. We have passed an ordinance requiring some businesses to install cameras and exterior lighting, and working with Harris County, we passed the 10 percent bail bond measure. The catalytic convertor ordinance is another tool to drive down crime and create a safer city.”