FREDERICTON (GNB) – Amendments intended to address the theft of catalytic converters and other commonly stolen goods will be introduced later this week in the legislative assembly.

In recent months, there has been an increase in the theft of catalytic converters from the vehicles of businesses, not-for-profit organizations and individuals. They are often then sold to salvage dealers as they contain rare metals.

“We recognize that catalytic converter theft is an issue in our province,” said Public Safety Minister Kris Austin. “We know we can’t stop every theft, but we can make it harder for criminals to sell these stolen goods.”

The proposed changes to the Salvage Dealers Licensing Act aim to reduce criminal activity by no longer allowing salvage dealers to pay cash for commonly stolen items and by doubling the fines for violating any provision of the act or regulations.

Additionally, the government has proposed amendments to the General Regulation of the act which will be available online in the coming days for a 28-day public review period. The amendments include:

  • adding catalytic converters and vehicle batteries to subsection 3(5) of the General Regulation which outlines commonly stolen items for which salvage dealers must record specific information. Items currently identified in the regulation are plumbers’ lead, brass valves, copper and lead flashing, and copper wire.
  • requiring salvage dealers to collect additional information for items they buy that fall under subsection 3(5) of the General Regulation, including: a government issued ID of the seller, and the registration information of the car from which a catalytic converter originated.

“We have modeled these changes after what is working in other Canadian jurisdictions,” said Austin. “Those with similar legislation have reported a significant decrease in the theft of catalytic converters.”