Florida lawmakers looking to curb catalytic converter thefts in South Florida

DAVIE, Fla. – As the number of catalytic converter thefts continues to soar in South Florida, state lawmakers are trying to put an end to the crime.

A Senate Republican on Thursday filed a proposal that would seek to curb thefts of vehicle catalytic converters.

Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, filed a proposal for Senate Bill 306 (SB 306) to curb the dangerous crime trend.

Rep. Fred Hawkins, R-St. Cloud is also taking action filing a similar bill in Florida.

The Senate bill would require people to keep records about the sale or purchase of catalytic converters that have been removed from vehicles.

It would also stiffen penalties for suspects that are caught.

Local 10 News spoke with security at University Mitsubishi in Davie where employees told us that car dealerships were suffering from the growing crime.

Davie police provided body cam video which shows a thief going from car to car and looking underneath.

Authorities said they found two men in a car on-site wearing ski masks and dark clothing and one suspect is still at large after the latest theft.

Investigators discovered 13 stolen catalytic converters and two reciprocating saws nearby the vehicle.

Police said three men were caught and charged along with a 16-year-old lookout.

Local 10 News has covered dozens of stories in the past few months of catalytic converters and other car parts being targeted for the expensive metals inside.

Florida lawmakers are now moving forward to push new legislation to curb the thefts and sales of catalytic converters.

For more information on SB 306, click here.

For tips on keeping your car safe from catalytic converter thefts, click here.

About the Author:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.