WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council will consider a new ordinance that will try to thwart the theft of catalytic converters.

Thefts in the Wichita area have increased at an alarming rate. According to the Wichita Police Department, there were 1,360 reported cases in 2021.

The ordinance that the council will consider will allow the department to investigate the suspicious accumulation of catalytic converters and will allow officers to seize catalytic converters from people who have no explanation as to how they came into possession.

Under the new ordinance, people may possess a detached catalytic converter if the person in possession:

  • Owns the vehicle
  • Purchased the vehicle or the part and can provide a bill of sale, receipt or a vehicle title with
  • Contact information for the previous owner
  • Can produce an order from a court designating ownership
  • Can produce a work or service order that requires removal of the part
  • Can produce a letter of permission from WPD to temporarily possess the part
  • Is a licensed scrap metal dealer
  • Is a city official acting within the scope of their employment

The ordinance will result in some costs to the city as misdemeanors will be prosecuted in municipal court and may result in jail fees.