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Proposed bill could curtail catalytic converter thefts

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Catalytic Converter 16×9

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- Twin bills in the Wisconsin state Senate and Assembly would classify catalytic converters as a "proprietary article." 

That designation would give certain protections over how they can be sold to scrap dealers, requiring sellers to give proper identification and proof it belongs to them.

Supporters say the bill would cut down on catalytic converter thefts, but some aren't confident in that correlation.

"If there's more regulations that doesn't say that the thieves, the people that are actually thieving don't follow regulations anyway," Portage County Sheriff Mike Lukas said. "It's the hardworking people that are going to have more regulations then," he added.

Lukas says Portage County has had more than 40 incidents related to catalytic converter thefts in the last year, resulting more than $40,000 in losses for car owners.

If you think you might be at risk of getting your converter stolen, you should leave your car where you can easily keep watch. 

"We're telling people that have those types of vehicles to park them in a well lit area, somewhere that can be visible and noticeable if somebody is coming around your vehicles," Lukas said.

If you'd like to see the full contents of the proposed bill, click here.

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