Catalytic converter theft could soon be a Level 6 felony in Indiana

Local News

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The theft of motor vehicle parts, including the theft of catalytic converters, could soon be a Level 6 felony in Indiana.

That’s due to a proposed bill that has now passed through first the Senate, then the House, before being sent back to the Senate with amendments this week.

The bill would make the theft of a component of a motor vehicle, including catalytic converters, a Level 6 felony and would also expand qualifying prior convictions for Level 6 felony theft to include robbery and burglary.

The bill also addresses the sale of valuable metals. If a dealer knowingly fails to comply with certain statutes regulating the purchase of a valuable metal, or purchases a stolen valuable metal, that would be considered a Level 6 felony as well.

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Another bill reported on several times this session aims to list COVID-19 as a risk exposure disease for first responders.

According to Senator Jon Ford, who authored the bill, the legislation was written in light of the death of Terre Haute firefighter John Schoffstall from COVID-19 complications in April 2020.

The bill helps provide loved ones who lose someone to COVID-19 to receive line of duty death benefits. Probation and community corrections officers would also be listed as eligible employees for this benefit.

The bill has passed through the Senate and one House committee and is now under review in a second House committee.

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Newborn safety is the focus of another bill that recently passed both Indiana Statehouse chambers and is now back in the House with amendments.

The bill says that due to extenuating circumstances, a child’s parent or a person unable to give up custody under Indiana’s Safe Haven Law can call 911 and request that a provider take custody of the child. The person must stay with the child until that provider arrives.

Emergency medical dispatch agencies would inform the person giving up custody that they can remain anonymous, as is also the case if a parent voluntarily gives up a child in a hospital or medical facility after delivery.

The bill would make emergency medical services stations immune to civil liability for an act of omission relating to the newborn safety device, oftentimes called a Safe Haven baby box.

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