U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) will join with local and state law enforcement officials to announce legislation he is introducing in the Senate to create a federal task force to address the widespread problem of catalytic converter theft.
Catalytic converter crimes have surged in New Jersey. In South Brunswick, 30 catalytic converters were stolen in 10 days. In Hackettstown, the police pursued investigations on the theft of 18 catalytic converters from Amazon trucks parked on the same location. In Bergen County, thieves have targeted several municipalities including Teaneck, Elmwood Park, Glen Rock, amongst others.
The number of catalytic converter thefts reported in insurance company claims has greatly increased over the past three years, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that these thefts increased by 1,215% between 2019 and 2022. Stolen catalytic converters can garner anywhere from $20 to $350 on illegal markets, with the replacement cost to vehicle owners averaging over $2,500.
The legislation will be announced during a press conference today.