Couple hopes new legislation will help end catalytic converter theft

SPOKANE, Wash.- Catalytic converter theft is on the rise nationwide and in the state of Washington.  A new bill aims to put an end to catalytic converter theft and has made its way through the legislature and is now on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk.

Ken and Dina Dinet live in Browne’s Addition and had their catalytic converter stolen just a few nights ago. They say they had just gotten home from a trip to Seattle when they parked in a spot they normally don’t park in.

“The next morning my wife went to go to work, and our car sounded like a race car, and we looked underneath and the catalytic converter was cut off,” Ken said.

The Dinets said the lack of lighting on the street doesn’t help either. The Dinets moved from Eugene, Oregon, to Spokane during the pandemic.

They say they’ve been hit by thieves three times since they’ve lived in Browne’s Addition.

“This neighborhood has gotten crazy. It has just gotten crazy,’ Dinet said.

The Dinets say this crime was the last straw for them and they’re now packing their bags to move to Nebraska.

“We’re in the process of moving right now. I’ve got a load in my car,” Dinet said.

They note that the crime is not the only reason they are leaving Spokane.

Dinet says they’re looking at more than $300 to get their catalytic converter fixed.

“We were talking to the muffler guy, and that we took the place to Docs and he said that he did seven U-Haul’s in one day last week and that he does at least two or three a day,” Dinet said.

HB 1815 would make it harder on people selling catalytic converters. Sellers would need to show proof of ownership of the catalytic converter and a form of I.D.

The bill also targets recycling businesses. Both sellers and businesses could face fines for not following the rules. It would also implement a new theft workgroup that would give recommendations and options related to reducing catalytic converter theft.

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