Frisco City Council members approved an ordinance Sept. 6 making it unlawful to possess used catalytic converters removed from vehicles by cutting or some means other than unbolting. Removing a catalytic converter from its vehicle by cutting is a common method used in catalytic converter thefts, according to the ordinance.
The new ordinance comes after Frisco police reported 132 catalytic converter thefts between January-June, according to a Frisco Police Department presentation. That figure has already surpassed the reported number of catalytic converter thefts in all of 2021, which was 126, about a 4.8% increase.
The police department has reported 219 thefts as of August, Frisco Police Chief David Shilson said during the Sept. 6 meeting. The reported loss is estimated to be $300,000, he said.
“This represents a proactive response that will make Frisco among one of the first cities in Texas to adopt an ordinance like this,” he said. “It’s certainly a proactive response and another tool to help us curtail this growing issue.”
When police come across a person in possession of a removed catalytic converter, that person needs to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle it was removed from or proof that possession of the catalytic converter was lawfully passed from the owner of the vehicle it came from, according to city documents.
Any person found to violate the ordinance will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor charge and upon conviction face a charge not exceeding $500, according to the ordinance.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported claims of catalytic converter thefts increased more than 1,000% between 2018-2020, according to its website. Texas was listed among the top five states that reported the most thefts.
The Texas Legislature passed a bill in 2021 related to catalytic converter thefts, which focused on the sales of catalytic converters to recycling centers.