Home News Bayonne News

Davis supports crack down on catalytic converter thefts

The move follows a string of thefts of the highly-sought auto part

Thieves are targeting the parts for their valuable raw materials.

Bayonne Mayor James Davis is calling for the passage of legislation that would crack down on thieves targeting an expensive auto part.

“Bayonne and other Hudson County communities have been hit by a rash of catalytic converter thefts from cars,” Davis said. “Thieves have been stealing these devices and selling them for their precious metal parts.”

On Aug. 28, five catalytic converter thefts were reported on the west side of Bayonne. They were on West 48th Street, Avenue B, West 50th Street, West 49th Street, and West 44th Street. The thefts started at approximately 8:25 a.m. and lasted until 4:20 p.m.

The countywide issue has prompted the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office to launch the North Hudson Catalytic Converter Task Force in conjunction with the Union City Police Department, the North Bergen Police Department, the Weehawken Police Department, and the West New York Police Department.

The task force made its first arrest in early August.

The proposed solution

Currently, a bill before the state Senate would aim to crack down on these types of thefts. The legislation was proposed by Senator Sandra Cunningham in April who represents the 31st Legislative District, which encompasses much of Bayonne.

“We have to crack down on these sales by passing the tough new legislation that has been introduced by State Senator Sandra Cunningham,” Davis said. “Her bill would make it illegal to purchase the parts unless they were still attached to the vehicle, or the seller had legitimate ownership papers, or the seller was a proper auto parts dealer or genuine automotive repair company.”

Cunningham’s legislation would end the black market sale of catalytic converters, prompted by the high sale price of the raw materials. These auto parts contain palladium and rhodium, which respectively sell for approximately $2,400 and $16,000 per ounce, making them a hot item to sell for scraps at junkyards.

Disorderly persons offense

Violations of the bill would be a disorderly persons offense for a first or second offense, and a crime of the fourth degree for third and subsequent offenses. A disorderly persons offense is ordinarily punishable by a prison term of up to six months or a fine of up to $1,000, or both. A crime of the fourth degree is ordinarily punishable by a prison term of up to 18 months or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

“We need to make it a lot harder for crooks to make money by stealing car parts from our hardworking residents,” Davis said.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

Exit mobile version