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New Texas House bill aimed at stopping catalytic converter thefts

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You wouldn't pass inspection if your vehicle was missing it—and you might not know if it’s been stolen.

Replacing a catalytic converter could set you back several hundreds of dollars, but one bill on Gov. Greg Abbott's desk could pump the breaks on this costly repair.

"Its easy money and they have very easy access to them,” said Richard Wade with the automotive program at South Texas College.

Those who steal a catalytic converter are looking to make big bucks off the precious metals inside that tube, such as cadmium, rhodium and palladium.

House Bill 4110 would require metal recycling businesses to maintain a registry that would have to be shared with the state, showing where the converter came from and when it was purchased.

If signed into law by the governor, those who purchase a converter will have to identify the previous owner, the year, make and model of the car it was once in, including that vehicle's title.

And it would become a felony to sell or buy a catalytic converter without this information.

Experts, mechanics, and those who inspect vehicles say they're worried that it’s easy to just slide underneath the vehicle and cut the converter out from underneath the car.

Experts recommend not leaving your vehicle parked in the street in the same place for several days. Also, ask your mechanic about installing metal protection over the converter.

Abbott has until June 20 to sign or veto the bill.

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