By Steven Allen Adams, The Journal
CHARLESTON – The Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to crack down on a recent uptick in catalytic converter theft, though some believe the bill punishes scrap yards who already abide by current laws.
Senate Bill 626 updates the regulation of catalytic converter purchases by West Virginia scrapyards. The bill was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Trump, R-Morgan, and co-sponsored by committee Vice Chairman Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, Senate Minority Whip Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell, and state Sen. Rupie Phillips, R-Logan.
The bill would require documentation to be shown to scrap dealers proving that the person attempting to sell the converter is the lawful owner or authorized to sell the converter. Under current law, documentation is only required when someone attempts to sell five or more converters. The bill also now requires automobile repair shops and automobile recycling businesses to show documentation before being allowed to sell a catalytic converter to a scrap dealer.
The bill requires scrap dealers to pay for catalytic converters by a mailed check to the seller or the seller’s bank no earlier than five days before the date of sale. Scrap dealers would be prohibited from processing, selling, or removing converters for 14 days. Dealers would be prohibited from taking possession of any converter that has had its identifying information altered or destroyed…