Maine's requiring VIN etching onto catalytic converters

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From https://wgme.com/news/local/new-maine-law-catalytic-converter-thefts

Under the new law, new and used car dealers have to engrave the full VIN of a vehicle on the converter, unless it’s sold at wholesale or the part isn't clearly visible from the underside.

Recyclers must engrave or permanently mark either the VIN or the recycler’s license number and stock number.

Private individuals who remove a catalytic converter are required to mark it as well, unless it's just temporarily for maintenance or repairs.


Now what's funny is I just engraved my prius when I was under there for an OCI two weeks ago, and was planning the same for wife's when she's in for service!

I'm unaware of any other jurisdiction requiring this yet. Should be done at the factory.
 
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Should be done at the factory.
I agree. To my little brain, this seems like an easy thing to implement.

Failing being able to do vin (due to trying to get yet another thing to line up with JIT practices, showing up right before it is required), I wonder if a unique number could be assigned. It isn’t that hard to do, then make a database to do lookup. When cat abc goes onto the car, scan its number and store that info.

Thieves will get around this though. They always do…
 
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They’re already stealing cats, grinding the VIN off will add another 30 seconds and we’re right back at square one…. Unless you start engraving the vin somewhere on the inside of the cat housing but that’s not really possible with JIT manufacturing.
 

ZeeOSix

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The way you stop the cat thieves is to make it illegal for scrap dealers to buy and sell them. Make it a law that cats can only be brought and sold to the state for recycling, where stringent rules are followed to verify the source of the cat and who's bringing it in. Any scrap dealer caught buying/selling cats gets his business shut down permanently and thrown in jail for 5 years. You don't stop rampant crime by being soft.
 
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The way you stop the cat thieves is to make it illegal for scrap dealers to buy and sell them. Make it a law that cats can only be brought and sold to the state for recycling, where stringent rules are followed to verify the source of the cat and who's bringing it in. Any scrap dealer caught buying/selling cats gets his business shut down permanently and thrown in jail for 5 years. You don't stop rampant crime by being soft.
It would help but then again it won't stop them from being exported which I think is what happens to a lot of them.
 
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The way you stop the cat thieves is to make it illegal for scrap dealers to buy and sell them. Make it a law that cats can only be brought and sold to the state for recycling, where stringent rules are followed to verify the source of the cat and who's bringing it in. Any scrap dealer caught buying/selling cats gets his business shut down permanently and thrown in jail for 5 years. You don't stop rampant crime by being soft.
Fines per stolen cat hurt far more than shutting down a business. They can shut it down and reform under a new name…..
 

Pew

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Criminals are dumb and lazy.

As proof, I offer you a coworker at a company I worked for years ago, who stole equipment from work and didn't bother to remove the company property sticker, which was visible in the Ebay photo...

Somebody stole some of our very expensive Surveying equipment from one of our employee's car, who coincidently that same employee had an argument and didn't show up for work the following week. I just know the higher ups were stalking ebay, CG, and FB Marketplace to see if whoever stole it was dumb enough to put the equipment up. Trimble serializes all their equipment and can see who owns it. I'm not sure if we managed to find them - that was above my pay grade.
 
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VIN numbers don’t deter car thieves from stealing cars so I still don’t understand how this will deter converter thieves.

In addition, once it’s stolen does anyone want it back so they can get it reattached? Probably not.
 
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What's the end game here ? If I try to sell a catalytic converter, do I need to show a vehicle registration with the matching VIN and without, the scrap yard will refuse to buy it ?
 

ZeeOSix

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What's the end game here ? If I try to sell a catalytic converter, do I need to show a vehicle registration with the matching VIN and without, the scrap yard will refuse to buy it ?
Every state seems to be making their own laws to try and curb the cat theft problem going on.

Sidenote - I had to talk to my vehicle insurance gal today (State Farm), and I asked her about the cat thieves problem. She said their office gets multiple calls a day from customers saying their cat was stolen. One guy said someone cut it off in broad daylight when his truck was parked in his driveway. These dudes don't care because it only takes a minute to cut one off and run away with it.
 
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What's the end game here ? If I try to sell a catalytic converter, do I need to show a vehicle registration with the matching VIN and without, the scrap yard will refuse to buy it ?

So when the cop pulls over a sketchy looking vehicle with a sketchy looking driver, and searches the vehicle and finds a bunch of catalytic converters in the trunk, hopefully some of them will have VINs on them that the cop can then use to track down the rightful owner, giving them the evidence they need to charge the sketchy looking driver with larceny.
 
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The law makes it illegal to possess a converter that is detached from a car and not marked. The unmarked converters in the trunk are now presumed stolen, giving cause to arrest the person that did not exist before the new law. Also, any that are marked could be compared against reports of theft.
 
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So when the cop pulls over a sketchy looking vehicle with a sketchy looking driver, and searches the vehicle and finds a bunch of catalytic converters in the trunk, hopefully some of them will have VINs on them that the cop can then use to track down the rightful owner, giving them the evidence they need to charge the sketchy looking driver with larceny.


That is the presumption but the likelihood is that the perp will not be held and will be back at work in short order.
 
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