North Carolina men arrested in connection with several catalytic converter thefts

State - Regional

via FOX 46 Charlotte

YORK COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Three men were arrested in York County, North Carolina after they were found with nearly 20 catalytic converters.

York County detectives have investigated approximately 40 catalytic converter theft cases since July 1. On Nov. 18, detectives arrested Brian Lee McCrary after finding 19 converters in the bed of the pickup truck McCrary was driving. He was charged with 19 counts of unlawful transporting and possession of nonferrous metals.

The same day, detectives charged Andrew Eugene Beltz with two counts of unlawful transporting and possession of nonferrous metals.

The following day, Nov. 19, Gregory Wayne Shamburg was also arrested and charged with one
count of unlawful transporting and possession of nonferrous metals.

It is unclear if these three suspects originally stole the converters.

“I am proud of the hard work and countless hours our detectives have put in to investigate this national trend of catalytic converter thefts,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson. “People who cut converters off of church busses and child daycare vans cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage just to get a few hundred dollars for just one converter.”

The Sheriff’s Office says thieves have targeted trucks, large busses, vans, and hybrid cars for converters. If you have a vehicle that may be targeted, detectives ask you to follow these crime prevention tips:

  • Park your vehicles in well-lit areas.
  • Add surveillance cameras to help investigators identify the people cutting the converters.
  • Watch for any suspicious activity and call 9-1-1 right away.

Catalytic converters are a component of every vehicle’s exhaust system and converts toxic chemicals produced by your vehicle into relatively harmless gasses before they are emitted into the atmosphere. Catalytic converters contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which is what makes them valuable.

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