DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton police have reported a 234 percent increase in catalytic converter thefts from 2020 to 2022.
Now, lawmakers are teaming up with law enforcement to take a stand against the recent surge.
Schalischa Petit-De said hers was stolen from the parking lot of her home just five minutes from downtown Dayton. This was an inconvenience she said she felt there was nothing she could have done to avoid.
“It was incredibly upsetting, especially since in the area where I lived at the time. I was parked in a parking lot where there were some streetlights nearby,” Petit-De said. “But still, even though that the area wasn’t completely secluded, somebody still was able to come and take that off my car, and there was nothing that could have been done about it.”
To combat these thefts, state legislators created House Bill 110, which prohibits people from selling car parts without proof of purchase of a vehicle.
Dayton police have endorsed the bill, hoping it will evoke a change in crime patterns.
“So, you know, current laws, the way things are right now, it’s not particularly difficult for a person to fence catalytic converters,” Major Jason Hall of the Dayton Police Department said. “We really appreciate the legislature’s work trying to provide us these tools solidifies a lot of the processes when it comes to selling those items. Prohibiting selling more than one day. A lot of different things that’s in there right now as written.”
Police also suggest drivers to park inside garages, or in well-lit areas, but for car owners like Petit-De, that’s not enough.
“I think there needs to be more done for the aftermath of, hey, somebody with converters stolen,” Petit-De added. “For my car, that stuff is undriveable. So, I don’t really think that’ll deter criminals as much, but I welcome any type of change.”
Police and local auto shops are also offering to put serial numbers on catalytic converters to track them down faster if they are stolen.