Great news out of Sacramento recently for all you Californians who own cars. So, basically, all of you.
It took ten separate Senate and Assembly bills to get it done (I wish I was making that up), but stealing things is once again illegal.
It is possible that with these ten important new laws, someone hacksawing your catalytic converter out from under your car in the middle of the night could, in fact, be breaking some sort of law now, punishable by some sort of punishment of some kind.
That’s exciting news! For those of you unfamiliar with how the modern automobile works, allow me to explain. The catalytic converter is a metal box in the middle of the exhaust emissions tubular tailpipe system of your car that, in layman’s terms, converts the unwanted and poisonous gas, catalyte, present in your car’s exhaust, into water and pure oxygen using an interior grid filter mesh system made out of platinum, mink fur, and diamonds.
As you can imagine, these devices, about the size of an insurance executive’s wallet, are quite valuable. Roughly seven-eighths of the total cost of your car is the catalytic converter, based on data from top insurance companies and repair shops. The other three-quarters of your car’s value is any other part that gets dented.
Up until the distinguished ladies and gentlemen in Sacramento sprung into action, if a cop pulled over a meth tweaker out cruising the town at two in the morning, and said upstanding citizen happened to have one, two, or even a dozen catalytic converters riding shotgun, the police officer was forced to assume that those very specific and valuable car parts rightfully belonged to this man with no discernable access to personal hygiene products or logical itinerary for his evening.
Having in your possession a grand total of thirty-five cents, six cigarette butts, a hacksaw, and nine thousand dollars-worth of the same loose car part that is commonly stolen due to its value just wasn’t enough probable cause under the old laws.
Apparently too many legitimate catalytic converter supply house drivers on their way to the Chevrolet assembly plant in Antioch were being unfairly hassled by the cops when they got pulled over with nine grimy catalytic converters strewn across the back seat of their crappy ’97 Nissan Sentra with the donut spare on the right front wheel.
Oh, wait, that’s not how catalytic converters are delivered to the auto manufacturers? Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Who could have known? Thank God we have ten new laws to sort all this out.
And never mind the cops’ hands being tied. I mean, the recycling companies that purchase catalytic converters with hacksawed tailpipe remnants on both ends from scabby, strung-out meth heads were obviously powerless to stop this crime wave. How could they have known these things full of precious metals were stolen and not the legitimate property of this skinny, toothless, itchy weasel who apparently owns twelve cars but doesn’t want any of them to ever pass smog again because he needs money to complete the cabinet renovations and granite countertops in his two thousand-square-foot sunroom?
It's just impossible to figure out some sort of system or enforcement that could have stopped that. What a puzzler!
Anyway, with these ten innovative new laws, Sacramento has come through for us big time. Crime is finally illegal again. Catalytic converter theft should stop any second now.
Now if we could just think of some innovative way to make drugs illegal… oh, never mind, I forgot. We’re going the other way on that one.
That should help.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2022 Marc Schmatjen
Your new favorite T-shirt is at SmidgeTees
Your new favorite book is from SmidgeBooks
Your new favorite humor columnist is on Facebook Just a Smidge