KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Thieves can steal a catalytic converter from a car in 30 seconds or less. Criminals can sell the converters for $50, while car owners are stuck with a $1,000 bill for repairs. On November 22, a new ordinance will go into effect in Kansas City, Mo. that attempts to reduce the number catalytic converter thefts.
Shane Crees, Owner of KC Complete Auto Service, said he repairs about three or four cars a month because thieves have stolen the catalytic converters.
"It's not just replacing the converters because thieves also damage other parts of the car and exhaust system when they're cutting out the catalytic converters," Crees said.
The new city ordinance will require salvage yards to see documents like the bill of sale proving the item is not stolen before the salvage yard can take the item.
Salvage yards will also be required to enter data from every sale into a computer that police can check daily. Police will look for multiple sales of catalytic converters.
"If that person is selling several catalytic converters in a week and they're not an auto shop, then we will check that individual to see if there is a crime," said Kevin Kilkenny, Property Crimes Detective with the Kansas City Police Department.
Police recommend people protect their cars by parking in well-lit, high-traffic areas.