The Senate Transportation Committee approved legislation, SB 86, to assist law enforcement in cracking down on auto theft in Pennsylvania. Under the bill, the Motor Vehicle Chop Shop Act is expanded to include “vehicle,” “trailer” and “semitrailer.”

“Because trailers and semitrailers do not meet the current definition of a „motor vehicle‟, law enforcement has difficulty charging thieves who steal trailers,” said State Senator Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, the sponsor of the legislation. “The crime of auto theft has become increasingly complex and auto thieves have become more organized.”

Greenleaf added that law enforcement believes that the current law is vague when attempting to charge someone with the crimes of profiting from stolen vehicle activity. SB 86 clarifies the offense of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity to specifically include stolen or illicitly obtained property. The definition of “financial transaction” is amended to include any exchange of stolen or illicitly obtained property for financial compensation or personal gain.