Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston city council unanimously passed an ordinance Wednesday to address the increase in thefts and the resale of stolen catalytic converters citywide.
In the first three months of 2022, the Houston Police Department reported 3,188 catalytic converter thefts, a 123 percent increase from the previous year.
“People need to know that if you steal them, you will pay the price for it,” said Mayor Turner. “If you are going to do it, we are going to make it as inconvenient as possible for you.”
The ordinance will stop business-to-business reselling of stolen exhaust emission control devices and make it necessary for anyone in possession of a cut catalytic converter to show proof of ownership. Failure to show ownership could result in a misdemeanor charge for each one.
“There is no question the theft of catalytic converter leads to other violent crimes,” said Mayor Turner. “We are addressing this problem as part of the overall One Safe Houston initiative. We have passed an ordinance requiring some businesses to install cameras and exterior lighting, and working with Harris County, we passed the 10 percent bail bond measure. The catalytic convertor ordinance is another tool to drive down crime and create a safer city.”
The ordinance will be effective 45 days after it is signed. More information is available here.