Off-duty Harris County Sheriff's Office Deputy Darren Almendarez was killed in 2022 while trying to stop suspects from stealing his truck's catalytic converter. Photo: HCSO.


Texas' New Catalytic Converter Theft Law Is Named After Fallen Sheriff's Deputy

Written By: CarPro | Jun 1, 2023 10:35:32 AM

A new law is now on the books in Texas designed to strengthen catalytic converter theft penalties. 

On Memorial Day, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB224 The Deputy Darren Almendarez Act into law.  The legislation is named after a Harris County Sheriff's Office Deputy who was killed in 2022. Police say the 51-year old off-duty officer was shot while trying to stop three suspects from stealing his truck's catalytic converter in a grocery store parking lot

The Harris County Sheriff's Office shared a social media post about the bill's signing earlier this week:

Almendarez was a 23-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The new law creates new, tougher criminal penalties for catalytic converter theft and allows prosecutors to treat the thefts as organized crime. Penalties fall under three classifications depending on loss amount:

  • Class C, B or A misdemeanor (loss of $100 to $2,500)
  • State jail felony (loss of more than $2,500 but less than $30,000)
  • Third-degree, second-degree or first-degree felony (loss of $30,000 to $300,000 or more). 

You can read the full Deputy Darren Almendarez Act here.

It initially became a state jail felony offense to steal, buy or sell a stolen catalytic converter in Texas in June of 2021 when the Texas Governor signed House Bill 4110.

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