HONOLULU (KHON2) — One car part that continues to be targeted by thieves is catalytic converters, which if stolen, can put a person out a thousand dollars to fix. To combat this, lawmakers are hoping to make it harder for thieves to sell the stolen parts.

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Representative Jackson Sayama along with several state lawmakers introduced a measure that would require businesses not to buy used car parts or accessories.

The bill also asks businesses to report the attempted sale to police if the seller does not provide appropriate information.

Currently, the law doesn’t require much as far as proof from both sellers and buyers, mainly just copies of I.D.s. State Rep. Jackson Sayama, who represents St. Louis Heights, Palolo and Kaimuki, wants to change that by requiring sellers to also provide a copy of vehicle registration with any catalytic converter sale.

He is also looking to defer thieves by making catalytic converter theft a felony, which carries a sentence of up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Scrap dealers breaking the law could be fined up to $2,000.

The additional fines for violating the requirements could provide incentives for those bad acting recyclers who refused to give up those names, not to mention it does add a language that these recyclers have to disclose this information and report illegal sellers to HPD.

Rep. Jackson Sayama, (D) St. Louis Heights, Palolo, Kaimuki

While the bill doesn’t say how this will be enforced, Sayama said he intends to add enforcement language to the bill. He said so far, Honolulu Police Department has been a big help.

“I spoke to Major Ozeki from District 7 from HPD, and basically he has his officers visit a recycler shop in my district, once a week to basically go through the records and make sure that there are no illegal sales of catalytic converters,” said Sayama.

He said it is important to have safeguards in place.

“Because without them you know a family’s gonna have to pay $1000 to $2,000 to replace it and that’s not something that families have lying around especially during this pandemic,” said Sayama.

Crimestoppers said thieves steal the part to make quick cash.

Basically, we’re talking less than a minute, they’re able to cut these catalytic converters off, and the victim doesn’t know anything until they get back to the vehicle and the start the vehicle and it just sounds like a loud lawnmower.

Sgt. Chris Kim, Crimestoppers

Sgt. Kim said it’s up to recycling companies to make sure they’re not buying stolen goods.

“They’re made well aware that the there’s an uptick in these catalytic convertor thefts,” said Sgt. Kim. “So, they should be asking the proper questions you know where these catalytic converters are coming from, and just start screening their customers.”