City of Lincoln combats catalytic converter thefts

Some changes to the Lincoln Municipal Code could help turn the tide of rising catalytic converter thefts.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln has seen a rash of catalytic converter thefts this year, with a number near 500 so far. But some changes to the Lincoln Municipal Code could be the first step towards reversing the trend.

Catalytic converters are found on most cars made in the mid-70s through today, meaning they’re on more or less every car you encounter each day. They use precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium, to cause chemical reactions that make automobile exhaust less polluting. They’re also fairly easy to access, which makes them a prime target for someone looking to make a quick buck.

However, after the Lincoln City Council’s meeting, that buck may not come slower, if it comes at all. The code changes serve to make it a little harder to sell a catalytic converter.

Anybody who sells a converter to a (permitted) business will have to take a photo with the part in question, give their fingerprint, leave a copy of their ID, have a photo taken of the vehicle they’re driving at the time, and provide some sort of proof that they’re the legal owner of the converter. All that information goes into an electronic record that each business will have to keep for at least 2 years.

Once a business gets the part, it needs to be tagged and set aside for 72 hours. During that time, the catalytic converter needs to stay in the shape in which it was received; no modifications or destruction allowed.

Additionally, there are limits on who can sell a catalytic converter in Lincoln. Anyone with a theft conviction in the past 5 years won’t be allowed to sell one.

These changes, and others, are designed to make sure sales are on the up-and-up, and that any illegitimate sellers are barred right away.

You can view the updates to the code here.

Categories: News