Car part dealers and resellers must soon identify anyone looking to sell them second-hand catalytic converters, Denver City Council decided Monday, approving a law looking to cut into the black market for the often-stolen devices.
Denver saw a nearly 900% increase in thefts of the emission control devices last year. Police say a talented thief can crawl under vehicles and steal a catalytic converter in less than 30 seconds and that the city is already on pace to break the record amount of thefts reported last year.
The new law looks to the resale market in an attempt to reduce the amount of thefts. The council approved the ordinance unanimously Monday, the group’s second and final vote on the ordinance. The measure was placed on the council’s consent agenda signifying widespread support.
Hancock spokesman Mike Strott said the mayor will soon sign the bill into law, which was proposed by officials from the Denver Police Department. Once signed, the law will go into effect immediately, Robert Austin, a spokesman for the council, said.
Not only does the new law require dealers to look at, photograph or copy a valid photo ID from anybody looking to sell a used catalytic converter but it also requires them to report the purchase to police within a day.
Helping police track businesses that sell used catalytic converters will allow them to understand trends and potentially focus on suspected thieves, a Denver police spokesman previously told The Denver Post.
The new law is meant to pair with several bills passed this year by Colorado lawmakers, also in an attempt to reduce the number of stolen converters across the rest of the state. For vehicle owners replacing the converters is both expensive and time consuming.
Councilman Kevin Flynn voted for the bill but previously expressed concern that with the new law, people looking to sell stolen converters will simply partner with resellers outside of the city.
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