A new law signed Monday by Gov. Kathy Hochul is meant to crack down on thefts of catalytic converters out of cars amid a rise in property crimes in New York.
The measure will require companies that dismantle vehicles to maintain records of catalytic converters as an essential part and have businesses every 60 days report the number of catalytic converters received during that period.
Modeled in part after a Nassau County law, the measure comes as public safety and crime have dominated the race for governor. Hochul on Long Island Monday touted the measure as a key component in cracking down on the thefts.
"Public safety is my top priority, and we're taking an aggressive, targeted approach to deter criminals from stealing catalytic converters," Hochul said. "Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed across our state and nation, and these comprehensive actions double down on our efforts to keep New Yorkers and their property safe, protecting our communities and cracking down on crime."
The new law comes with penalties: Failing to maintain or produce records upon request is a misdemeanor offense and could result in fines double the amount of the stolen components. New dealers and other qualified dealers will also be required to stock catalytic converters etching kits with unique serial numbers in order to better track them.
The measure was opposed by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries in New York, which called the provision too onerous.
"This new state law will steer the sale of stolen catalytic converters away from state-licensed recyclers and towards organized crime theft rings and into the dark web," the group said in a statement. "The end result of this ill-conceived legislation will deny law enforcement agencies the ability to track sales of potentially stolen catalytic converters."