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Commerce panel holds over bill targeted at thefts of catalytic converter

Stealing a catalytic converter can take just a matter of seconds, and it can net a thief up to $500 when sold to a scrap metal dealer for the precious metals it contains.

That’s a very bad situation, says Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston), made worse because the penalty if caught can be no more than a citation, as the theft is classified as a non-violent property crime.

Davids sponsors a bill that would attack the problem by requiring scrap metal dealers to verify a person transferring or selling a catalytic converter acquired it legally and has the right to transfer or sell it.

HF330 was held over Tuesday by the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee at Davids’ request to allow more consultation with scrap metal dealers to make sure they can work with provisions in the bill.

Before the bill was laid over, Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL-Eden Prairie) successfully amended the bill to remove a misdemeanor penalty for scrap dealers who fail to properly verify a sale.

Davids agreed with the change because his intention is not to punish scrap metal dealers.

The companion, SF206, sponsored by Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Marys Point), awaits action by the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee.

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