Editorial: Bill makes parts theft more difficult

Thefts of vehicle catalytic converters and air-conditioner coils have been increasing in recent years because it’s difficult for police to capture the thieves in the act and the valuable materials are relatively easy to sell illegally.

A bill making its way through the General Assembly would seek to thwart this fencing of stolen metal. A Senate committee has approved House Bill 1441, which would make it illegal to sell air-conditioner coils or catalytic converters without proof of ownership. Thefts of copper wiring have affected Frontier Communications and its Internet and telecommunications operations in Jackson County and elsewhere in southern Indiana.

The bill has the support of legitimate metal recyclers in part because illegal dealers siphon their profits but also because it is a blight on the entire industry. The bill’s authors are Reps. Jud McMillan, R-Brookville, and Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis.

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