Jay Leno Slams Lenient Penalties for Catalytic Converter Thieves Amid Soaring Theft Rates

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TV icon Jay Leno is protesting the lenient punishment that California authorities give to catalytic converter thieves in his home state as thefts surge and following the murder of actor Johnny Wactor.

The former Tonight Show host, also famous for his extensive antique car collection, told TMZ that it is outrageous that thieves caught stealing catalytic converters are only charged with a misdemeanor and slapped with a modest $1,000 fine.

Leno explained that the lenient penalties for catalytic converter theft contribute to the criminals’ brazen behavior.

This crime also poses a significant hassle for car owners who fall victim to these thieves. Notably, it is illegal to remove a converter, and having a missing device can result in a hefty fine, which means car owners are forced to replace them when stolen. However, the repairs can be extremely costly, running into thousands of dollars. Worse still, it can take several months to complete the repair because the high number of thefts has led to repair shops having long waiting lists, as well as part shortages.

Leno pointed out that the thieves only earn about $20 for each stolen converter, which explains why they resort to stealing so many of them.

Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN and several local Chicago news programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Warner works out of the Chicago area.

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