On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Deputy Darren Almendarez Act into law. This now means that there will be criminal penalties for stealing catalytic converters.
The bill is now effective and comes after a Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy was fatally shot as he attempted to stop three people from stealing his catalytic converter. This happened at a grocery store parking lot in March 2022.
Now, stealing catalytic converters will be prosecuted as organized crime. Depending on the circumstances, it could be a Class C, B, or A misdemeanor (loss of $100 to $2,500); a state jail felony (loss of more than $2,500 but less than $30,000); or third-degree, second-degree or first-degree felony (loss of $30,000 to $300,000 or more).