In an effort to reduce catalytic converter thefts, the Shakopee City Council passed an ordinance making it a misdemeanor for a person to be in possession of a detached catalytic converter — unless they are able to provide proof that they own the converter or the car it was removed from.
The council passed the ordinance at its Feb. 2 meeting. According to the Shakopee Police Department, 96 converter thefts were reported in 2021.
Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate said the thefts totaled to well over $100,000 in damages. “It’s a frustrating crime, especially for the victims who are often out a lot of money when that happens,” he said.
Catalytic converters are attractive to thieves because they contain valuable metals.
The police department has previously held programs to show the public how to mark their converters with etchings and spray paint. The agency will continue those, but Tate said he hopes this ordinance will make more of an impact.
At the meeting, he clarified that the ordinance does not prohibit people from removing a converter from their own vehicle and properly selling it or recycling it. Rather, the ordinance’s purpose is to address the issue of stolen converters often discovered during traffic stops.
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have passed similar catalytic converter ordinances in recent months.