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Record #: SO2015-1402   
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
Intro date: 3/18/2015 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Public Safety
Final action: 5/6/2015
Title: Amendment of Municipal Code Titles 4 and 11 regarding unauthorized sale of catalytic converters
Sponsors: Emanuel, Rahm, Quinn, Marty, Mitts, Emma, Mell, Deborah, Suarez, Regner Ray, O'Shea, Matthew J., Zalewski, Michael R., O'Connor, Mary, Cappleman, James, Lane, Lona, Brookins, Jr., Howard
Topic: MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS - Title 4 - Businesses, Occupations & Consumer Protection - Ch. 6 Regulated Business License, MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS - Title 4 - Businesses, Occupations & Consumer Protection - Ch. 228 Motor Vehicle Repair Shops, MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS - Title 4 - Businesses, Occupations & Consumer Protection - Ch. 240 Pawnbrokers, MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS - Title 4 - Businesses, Occupations & Consumer Protection - Ch. 264 Secondhand Dealers, MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS - Title 11 - Utilities & Environmental Protection - Ch. 4 Environmental Protection & Control
Attachments: 1. O2015-1402.pdf, 2. SO2015-1402.pdf, 3. SO2015-1402.pdf
SUBSTITUTE ORDINANCE
WHEREAS, Since 1975, all motor vehicles produced in the United States are required to have a catalytic converter as part of the exhaust system. The catalytic converter is an emissions control device containing precious metals, such as platinum, palladium or rhodium, that act as catalysts. When hot exhaust enters the converter, a chemical reaction occurs that turns toxic carbon monoxide gas and hydrocarbons into less harmful emissions; and
WHEREAS, With the price of precious metal skyrocketing, thieves have acquired an interest in stealing catalytic converters, which they then pawn or sell to junk peddlers, secondhand dealers, motor vehicle repair shops, and recycling facilities for a fraction of the converter's cost. Stolen catalytic converters typically reap the thief a profit of $100.00 to $150.00, while, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, it costs the vehicle owner between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00 to replace; and
WHEREAS, Vehicles that sit higher from the ground, such as trucks, pick-up trucks and SUVs, are particularly vulnerable to catalytic converter theft because thieves can access the converter simply by sliding underneath the vehicle without having to jack it up. With just a few cuts of a battery-powered saw, a catalytic converter can be removed from a vehicle in less than a minute; and
WHEREAS, Catalytic converter theft typically happens to vehicles that are parked for prolonged periods in large parking lots, such as shopping centers, mass transit commuter lots or company parking lots. However, vehicles parked on City streets are not immune from such theft, as the February 2015 spate of catalytic converter thefts in the Armour Square neighborhood on Chicago's South Side most recently demonstrated; and
WHEREAS, Because catalytic converters are not marked with the vehicle's VIN number, they are not readily traceable to the vehicle's owner, making them easy fodder for theft and illegal resale; and
WHEREAS, The City Council of ...

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