Third suspect in catalytic converter theft booked into Smith County Jail

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 12:38 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A third Houston man accused of stealing multiple catalytic converters in Tyler has been booked into the Smith County Jail.

Darius Reggie was arrested by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in April and has now been extradited to Smith County. Darius is alleged to have been part of an organized criminal effort to steal catalytic converters. Tyler police said they reported receiving an estimated 50 calls reporting catalytic converter theft between December 2021 and January 2022. Reggie and his alleged accomplices, DeAnthony Brown and Andre “Tuna” Pete are believed to have stolen between four and eight converters.

According an arrest affidavit, Brown, Pete and Reggie, all of Houston, were involved in multiple catalytic converter thefts on the night of January 28, 2022 in Tyler. The affidavit states that a patrol officer attempted to perform a traffic stop on a silver Lexus that Brown, Pete and Reggie were driving in after callers reported the vehicle as suspicious. The driver of the Lexus, identified as Pete during interviews with Brown, refused to stop and began to evade the officer, driving recklessly as they exited an apartment complex parking lot. The officer then reported seeing an individual, later identified as Brown, running through a nearby bank parking lot. The officer ultimately used a tazer to subdue and apprehend Brown.

The affidavit states that Brown’s on-foot escape came after the Lexus collided with another patrol car on Old Grande Blvd. All three suspects fled the scene, but only Brown was apprehended in the immediate aftermath. Investigating officers said that a reciprocating saw and multiple saw blades, tools commonly used in catalytic converter thefts, were plainly visible on the floor of the rear portion of the vehicle.

Brown allegedly admitted to being a “lookout” to at least four catalytic converter thefts and also supposedly verbally confirmed that Pete was the driver of the Lexus while Reggie was the “cutter” during the thefts. The affidavit states that cellphone GPS tracking was used to confirm Reggie’s movement from Houston to Tyler, while another cellphone found in the vehicle had multiple selfies of Pete found on it.

Reggie was tied to the theft after fingerprints found on saw blades allegedly matched his prints.

In interviews, Brown said police would likely find “four to eight” catalytic converters, as well as marijuana and prescription pills, inside the Lexus.

All three men are charged with aggravated assault of a public servant with a $250,000 bond, engaging in organized criminal activity with a $250,000 bond, Evading arrest/detention with a $250,000 bond, and four counts of theft of material each with a $100,000 bond.

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