If you've been a victim of a catalytic converter theft in New Jersey, this might give you a sigh of relief.

Catalytic converter thefts have been running rampant in New Jersey and all over the country for several months. Thieves have been targeting them to resell them at junk yards for hundreds - even thousands of dollars. But now a new New Jersey law has been passed to help curb the thefts.

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But first, let's get the basics down first.

What is a catalytic converter?

Cars.com says: "A catalytic converter is part of your car’s exhaust system that converts harmful engine-exhaust pollutants into something less harmful to the environment through a chemical reaction." They look something like this:

O2 Sensor mounted in Catalytic Converted
Tony Savino

Why are thieves stealing them?

Catalytic converters are made from three valuable metals: Platinum, palladium and rhodium. They help create the chemical reaction that makes your car's exhaust  fumes less toxic. They can be worth thousands of dollars at metal scrap yards.

What's being done to prevent catalytic converter thefts in New Jersey?

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New Jersey just passed a new law that will require "core recyclers" (junk yards and scrap metal businesses) to collect vehicle identification and proper documentation before buying a used catalytic converter.

The new law passed by Gov. Murphy states that the seller must provide "certificate of title, certificate of registration, a receipt from a transaction of repair, or a bill of sale for the motor vehicle from which the catalytic converter was taken."

So, if a seller attempts to sell a detached catalytic converter, they can't do so without providing proper documentation. And if they're stolen, they won't be able to profit from it. If this new law is violated, fines will be imposed.

It's part of a larger, four-step plan to prevent the larger issue of auto thefts in the state, according to Philly Voice.

Do you feel like this new law will make a difference? Let's hope so!


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