Atlanta City Council approves ordinance that aims to crack down on catalytic converters thefts

The exhaust pipe of an abandoned car missing its catalytic converter, rests on the ground in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 14, 2022.

Matt Rourke / Matt Rourke

Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Lewis, who represents District 12, says he can’t thieves from stealing catalytic converters, but he can stop scrap yards and businesses from buying the stolen parts.

“If a person steals  10 catalytic converters, but he doesn’t have proof of ownership of the car, he can’t sell them… in the city of Atlanta— he gotta go somewhere else,” said Lewis.  “That’s how I stop it in our city. “

On Tuesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” Councilman Lewis spoke about a new ordinance he introduced aiming to crack down on catalytic converter thefts that was approved by Atlanta City Council.

Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Lewis, who represents District 12, discusses the rise in catalytic converter thefts and how officials are working to address the issue through a new ordinance. ( Photo credit: Tiffany Griffith / WABE)

“I passed it on Atlanta City Council, and I reached across the aisle to my State Senate Republican partners, and they’re carrying this in our state house, so this is about to pass again of the state side.”

Under the ordinance, people trying to sell catalytic converters will be required to get their photo ID and thumbprint copied, and provide the VIN number from the car and where the part was obtained.

If scrap yards or other auto part businesses fail to comply, they will be fined.

During the conversation, Lewis talked about police reform and reflected on his first year in office as an Atlanta City Councilmember.