NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A proposal that would make it harder for thieves to sell catalytic converters is moving forward in the Roundhouse. It comes amid a nationwide wave of crooks targeting the anti-pollution devices, which contain valuable metals.

While the thief nets a few hundred dollars, the vehicle owner may be on the hook for $2,000 to $6,000. Sometimes, the car is even totaled.

“They go to parking lots. They go to used dealers and independent dealers, and they go to APD’s car lot, and they go to APS’ car lot, they jump over the fence. Twenty minutes later, they’ve got 20 catalytic converters, and they get away with it,” said Senator Mimi Stewart.

Senator Mimi Stewart’s Senate Bill 133 would require scrap metal dealers to collect detailed information from anyone trying to sell a standalone catalytic converter.

The requested information would include the seller’s ID, address, phone number, license plate of the car they arrived in, and proof of ownership. The dealer would also have to keep the transaction record for at least three years.

Albuquerque City Councilor Renee Grout spoke in support of the bill, which is similar to an ordinance she has proposed at the city level.

“In the last 90 days alone, 319 catalytic converters have been stolen within the city limits,” said City Councilor Renee Grout.

The proposal has already passed two committees and now heads to the Senate floor.