ST. PAUL (AP) -- Minnesota lawmakers have introduced legislation to crack down on rising catalytic converter thefts, which can cost car owners thousands of dollars.

The bill by Democratic Sen. John Marty, of Roseville, seeks to disrupt the black market by preventing anyone but licensed scrap metal dealers from buying used converters.

Scrap dealers would be barred from buying them from anyone but a repair shop, auto recycler or vehicle owners with proof of ownership. It would also be illegal for scrap dealers to pay cash for converters.

Police across the country report surges in converter thefts because they contain valuable rare metals.

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