Los Angeles Councilwoman Nithya Raman recently blamed Toyota for catalytic converter thefts from the Prius — and reportedly did so after opposing a council motion targeting the crime.
What are the details?
The Westside Current reported that the April 11 council motion — which makes it unlawful to possess detached catalytic converters without valid documentation or other proofs verifying lawful possession — passed 8-4.
The motion also noted that nearly 8,000 catalytic converter components had been stolen across Los Angeles in 2022 — a whopping 728% increase since 2018, the Current added.
Raman later spoke at a recent town hall where she defended voting no on the council motion, the Current said.
"In this case, I think one of the things that really infuriates me is that we have a company ... whatever, Toyota, who makes the Prius, that essentially has a device on their cars which is super easy to remove. It’s basically the value of a MacBook, right?" Raman said. "That is put in a place that is incredibly easy to access in your car, and then the thefts related to this issue have essentially — all of the costs of that — are given to us to bear instead of [Toyota] ..."
According to the National Review, another councilwoman — Eunisses Hernandez — joined Raman in opposing the motion. Hernandez argued that the motion would “not make our city safer” and could impact Latino and black communities, the NR added.
“This ordinance is a costly one for the city,” Hernandez said, according to the NR. “It will lead to more cases for the city attorney. It will lead to more money spent on courts and more money spent on public defenders.”
Councilman John Lee introduced the motion, the NR reported, adding that he said catalytic converter thefts are "hurting people" and that it's a crime "we are allowing, we are failing to act on, if we do not pass this today. This is a common-sense measure that simply provides law enforcement with an additional tool that will protect our communities from rampant and damaging theft.”
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