Governor signs auto theft bill into law | KOB 4
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Governor signs auto theft bill into law

J.R. Oppenheim
March 04, 2018 05:15 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Another piece of legislation has met approval from Gov. Susana Martinez, this one focusing on a crime problem plaguing the state.

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Martinez signed House Bill 52, which forces auto recyclers to ensure a car is not stolen when they take possession of it. State Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Albuquerque, sponsored the bill in the Roundhouse.

Under the new law, businesses have two days to report the purchase to the state's Taxation and Revenue Department, which must maintain records to verify that the vehicle has or has not been reported stolen.

According to a statement from the governor's office, only 44 percent of auto recyclers use that system. The new law now requires them to do so.

If a car is found to be reported stolen, auto recyclers cannot complete the purchase and they must contact law enforcement.

“Car theft is rampant in New Mexico – especially in the metro area,” Martinez said. "This bill will help protect New Mexicans across the state from thieves looking to steal their cars. No one should have to worry about their car being stolen when they go into the store or leave it in the driveway at night."

This comes a couple days after Martinez signed House Bill 172 to create an auto theft prevention authority within the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.

She also approved of two bills designed to protect the state's pecan crop. One looks to fight the spread of the pecan weevil, which is threatening the crop. Other looks to reduce pecan thefts by licensing buyers and documenting sales.

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J.R. Oppenheim

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