Catalytic converter thefts caught on tape - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Catalytic converter thefts caught on tape

The Tipton County Sheriff's Department set up a sting to catch thieves stealing catalytic converters, and it was all caught on tape.

Undercover video taken in July shows two brazen bandits stealing catalytic converters off a roadside trailer in broad daylight.

This decoy was part of a month-long, undercover sting to catch thieves in the act.  

"We've had converters taken off church vans, off individuals' vehicles, and they're going to try to sell them and do whatever they can with them," said Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley.

Video was taken at a separate location shows another person driving up, taking the converters off the trailer, and then driving off. 

In both instances, deputies immediately arrested the suspects.

"It's an easy, quick dollar for them, and we want to show them it's not going to be as easy for them as they think," said Chumley.

In all, a total of four people - Amanda Cooper, Darrien Moore, Percy Ware, and Floyd White - were arrested and charged with theft.

Scrap metal dealers said money is the reason behind most of these thefts. They said a converter can bring in anywhere from $10 to $200 a piece.

"They're going under vehicles and cutting them off with reciprocating saws and selling them for the titanium out of them," said Theresa Lemley of A to Z Recycling.

Lemley says tougher scrap metal laws are helping stop some of the catalytic converter thefts.  

Sheriff's deputies said the bottom line of this undercover sting operation is, if it's not yours, don't touch it.  Deputies said if you're tempted to steal a converter here in Tipton County, you could be stealing from them. 

Click here to e-mail Justin Hanson.

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