March 16, 2021
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt testified in support of Oregon Senate Bill 803 which aims to stop the skyrocketing theft of catalytic converters.
District Attorney Mike Schmidt said:
“I keep hearing from community members across Multnomah County and the state demanding action to address this issue that is plaguing Oregon. The rampant theft of catalytic converters must be met by using smart tactics that won’t put even more strain on our already exhaustively taxed law enforcement community. Oregon Senate Bill 803 does just that. It will work to quell the thefts of catalytic converters and to help stop their illegal sale.”
“The theft of these devices can happen so quickly. The risk of apprehension is often very low yet the cash return for thieves is significant. This has created an exploding black and gray market for stolen catalytic converters that is driving significant losses to Oregon businesses and vehicle owners across the state.”
Oregon Senate Bill 803 will:
- Directly target the underground market for catalytic converters.
- Require that a scrap metal business retain the make, model year, vehicle identification number and license number associated with any catalytic converter they receive.
- Provide our law enforcement with crucial information to identify, investigate and ultimately prosecute those businesses who choose to profit by skirting the law.
Oregon is not alone in this proposal to address the theft of catalytic converters. At least 15 other states are currently considering legislation attempting to shut down this black market.
Oregon Senate Bill 803 is at the request of Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt. Senator Chris Gorsek and Senator Lew Frederick are the bill’s chief sponsors.
Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office