Four arrested in thefts of as many as 150 catalytic converters in Central Texas
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Police have made four arrests in an investigation of a Central Texas theft ring that focused on catalytic converters.
Authorities arrested David Guyton, 38, Joseph Saulters, 41, Justine Salva, 35, and Tamara Robinson, 41.
Guyton was held in the McLennan County Jail Tuesday in lieu of bonds totaling more than $300,000 charged with three counts of engaging in organized crime, two counts of theft, burglary of a habitation, evading arrest, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, burglary of a building, burglary of a vehicle, lawful possession of a firearm by a felon and criminal mischief, according to online records.
Saulters was held in lieu of bonds totaling $22,000 charged with two counts of engaging in organized crime, two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, failure to identify, burglary of a habitation and four counts of fraudulent use of identifying information.
Salva remained jailed in lieu of bonds totaling $47,000 charged with two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, two counts of theft, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, burglary of a vehicle and burglary of a coin operated machine.
Robinson was held in lieu of bonds totaling $29,000 charged with theft, possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility.
The investigation that led to the arrests started in late spring as Waco investigators “started seeing several similar cases where catalytic converters had been stolen from a local business,” Officer Garen Bynum said Tuesday.
“As investigators continued working the cases, they began to notice that it was more than just Waco that was being affected,” he said.
Waco investigators, working with Woodway police and the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, determined that between 100 and 150 catalytic converters had been stolen from vehicles at a number of area businesses.
“After these criminals would steal the catalytic converters, they would use a stolen ID card and cash them in for money,” he said.
Recyclers may pay as much as $100 or more for some converters, which contain such precious metals as platinum palladium and rhodium.
Damages and replacement costs total about $200,000, police said.
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