Tyler Police Department continues cracking down on catalytic converter thieves

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Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 10:24 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2022 at 11:00 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - More than 50 catalytic converters have been reported stolen in Tyler in the last two months, according to Tyler Police PIO Andy Erbaugh.

Last week officers caught one of three suspects after a call came in about a suspicious vehicle in the 300 block of Chimney Rock Drive.

Once officers got a search warrant for the vehicle, Erbaugh said they found about 10 catalytic converters, saws, and blades in the trunk.

DeAnthony Brown of Houston is in the Smith County jail charged with aggravated assault against a public servant and evading arrest after his car hit a police car. No one else has been charged, and two other suspects got away.

“We’re following leads on that. We have several investigators working this and the multitude of thefts we’ve had. They’re all tracking down now this and possible other suspects that may have been in that area at the same time. So we’re looking at the ones in the vehicle and maybe others.”

Erbaugh said Brown came up from Houston, as have others involved in these catalytic converters being stolen. Erbaugh said they could be connected, but police aren’t certain yet. While most happened at apartment complexes south of the loop, not all do. It can happen anywhere in the city.

“But they’re also hitting businesses early in the morning, where the employees will park and they’re just going in and grabbing those and they’ve been doing it in the broad daylight as well,” Erbaugh said.

The thieves are going for catalytic converters because they contain precious metals that have a spiking value, some worth more than silver and gold. Erbaugh said it’s good to stay alert and maybe get an alarm for your car.

“That way it can alert you if somebody is touching it or getting under it,” he said. “You know, when they take it off it does create some vibrations so having an alarm on your car is a good way to at least alert you that it’s happening.”

Erbaugh said Tyler police have unmarked units out patrolling areas of town because these thefts can happen in just minutes. Further charges are pending once detectives wrap up more of the investigation.

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