Public Comments for: HB1214 - Catalytic converter; damage to motor vehicles, penalties.
Last Name: Foreman Locality: Bedford

I am currently a Chief of Police in the Town of Bedford. I would support this bill as it includes the increased penalty as well as some other aspects of working with the recycling industry.

Last Name: Greene Organization: Lexington Police Department Locality: Lexington

As Chief of Police in Lexington, Virginia, I am in full support of these bills to assist law enforcement with the prevention and prosecution of offenders who steal catalytic converters. Last year in 2021, the City of Lexington experienced a substantial increase of (16) catalytic converters stolen representing a 1500% increase compared to the prior year 2020, with only (1) incident of a catalytic converter stolen. Unfortunately, we were not able to effectuate arrests in these matters but developed a group of solid suspects who were identified and stopped on multiple occasions, in the suspected crime of stealing catalytic converters, with information that these individuals were selling the stolen goods to a scrap metal purchaser in Richmond, Virginia. Since catalytic converters do not have serial numbers or identifiable marks that can be connected back to a damaged car, we were not able to garner enough probable cause to effectuate arrests on these individuals. The approval of these bills will assist with the deterrence of the crime as the offenders will not have the ability to readily sell these stolen goods and increase law enforcement’s ability to charge the scrap metal purchasers, who accept questionable property from individuals who are not authorized scrap sellers.

Last Name: Chief Booth Organization: City of Danville - Police Department Locality: City of Danville

Comments Document

The theft of catalytic converters has become a major issue in our community (City of Danville). Throughout 2021, we experienced a drastic increase in the theft of catalytic converters: From January to May there were 3 Catalytic Converters reported stolen throughout the city of Danville. During the months of June, July, and August investigators noticed an increase to about 5 per month. During the months of September and October there was a drastic increase to 10 and 21 reported thefts, respectively. Concentrated efforts results in 29 felony arrests/18 mindemeanor charges. HB 740 and HB 1214 would provide our community with addtional resources to combat this crime and deter future offending.

Last Name: hHartman Organization: VACP/ Buena Vista Police Department Locality: Buena Vista

The VACP and Buena Vista Police Department are in support of this bill. Making the penalty stiffer will act as a deterrent to this type of crime. Vehicle larcenies are on the rise and this bill will be an effective tool for police and prosecutors to combat this crime. It also hold the scrap metal dealers responsible for what they take into their businesses.

Last Name: hHartman Organization: VACP/ Buena Vista Police Department Locality: Buena Vista

The VACP and Buena Vista Police Department are in support of this bill. Making the penalty stiffer will act as a deterrent to this type of crime. Vehicle larcenies are on the rise and this bill will be an effective tool for police and prosecutors to combat this crime. It also hold the scrap metal dealers responsible for what they take into their businesses.

Last Name: Katz Organization: Chesterfield County Police Department Locality: Chesterfield

Catalytic Converter Thefts Chesterfield County has seen a noteworthy increase in catalytic converter thefts over the past two years. In 2020, 178 such thefts were reported. That number increased to 516, reported in 2021. While 2020 is still early, if all things remain consistent, we are on track to experience 699 catalytic converter thefts in 2022. This increase in all the more stunning when one considers that our county experienced a double-digit drop in crime last year. We estimate the total property loss from these thefts in 2020 and 2021 to be $573,600 between 860,400. We appreciate this matter being taken into consideration and support legislation to inhibit this trend, further penalize offenders, or otherwise disrupt an emerging criminal enterprise that’s costing Virginia’s millions of dollars each year. Thank you. Respectfully, Col. Jeffrey S. Katz, Chief of Police - Chesterfield County 2nd VP, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police

End of Comments