ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s an issue New Mexicans know all too well: catalytic converters getting stolen. Albuquerque leaders are trying to curb the problem and are set to vote on a plan this week.

“I went out to see what was going on and realized that I should check around the vehicle and realized underneath that the catalytic converter had been taken,” said Matthew Medina, who had his vehicle’s catalytic converter stolen in November 2022.

Medina is just one of the victims familiar with the problem within the state. More than 52,000 converters were stolen in 2021 nationwide, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The anti-pollution devices are targeted because they contain valuable metals.

Back in December 2022, Albuquerque City Councilor Renee Grout introduced the Secondhand Catalytic Converter Purchase Ordinance.

“Anytime a cat [catalytic converter] is taken to the recycling yard for cash because there are valuable metals, and in all of these parts, the recycling yard needs to gather information about what kind of vehicle that catalytic converter came off of,” said Councilor Grout in an interview with KRQE in 2022.

The ordinance would require sellers to provide more information to sell the device. This includes an ID, thumbprint, and year/make/model/VIN for the vehicle the catalytic converter was taken from. The idea is to make sure dealers do not purchase stolen parts.

Albuquerque city leaders are expected to vote on the ordinance on Wednesday.

State lawmakers are also pushing Senate Bill 133. It would require scrap metal dealers to get information from anyone selling them the part. That bill passed in the Senate and is now working its way through the house.