Park Hill 4th of July Parade

Spectators react as a driver of a classic car revs his engine during the annual Park Hill 4th of July Parade Monday morning. (Sara Hertwig/for The Denver Gazette)

Denver City Council unanimously passed on first reading a bill intended to work in conjunction with state legislation targeting catalytic converter theft.

Under the proposal, anytime someone sells a catalytic converter to a scrap yard or an auto parts shop, the shop owner must provide Denver with the seller’s identification — including a car license plate and ID — within one business day.

The new state laws already require the shops to collect the information — Denver is taking it a step further so, supporters of the proposal argue, the police department can watch for any patterns among sales.

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Matt Lunn, DPD’s strategic initiatives director, previously said at a council committee meeting that the bill is structured similarly to the Pawn Brokers Act. Denver will use the same reporting service it uses for the pawn brokers rule to keep track of seller data.

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Lunn told the committee two weeks ago that the number of catalytic converters stolen throughout the city in 2021 increased from 2020 by 899.6%, and 2022 is alright slightly above last year’s average with 1,318 stolen so far this year. He said the most common spots where catalytic convertor theft occurs in Denver are at residential or apartment parking lots, Regional Transportation District park and ride lots, and at Denver International Airport — though thefts happen all over the city.

The state legislature passed multiple bills related to catalytic converter theft this year, including one that creates a state task force tackling the matter.

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