Catalytic converter capers likely solved after man leaves wallet behind
Early last Wednesday, a man heard a strange grinding noise coming from outside his garage on Main Street in Coalville and went to take a look.
He saw a middle-aged man jump out from under his pickup truck and then chased the man to a nearby vehicle, noting its license plate number, according to Summit County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright.
The suspect, a 41-year-old Coalville man, had been partway through cutting off the truck’s catalytic converter when the owner surprised him just after 4 a.m. The would-be-thief was in such a hurry to leave, Wright said, he left behind his wallet and the sawzall he was using to cut through the truck’s exhaust system.
“Sometimes criminals make it super easy for us,” Wright said.
This is the fourth catalytic converter theft in the last month and the third from the East Side. All were from oversized vehicles like pickup trucks.
Wright said the suspect was known to law enforcement and had been listed as “armed and dangerous” after previous contact with the Sheriff’s Office, meaning in previous encounters, the man had been carrying a firearm. Deputies will often seek more assistance when pursuing such a suspect, Wright said.
“We never send someone alone to make contact (with such a suspect),” Wright said.
Deputies found the vehicle but initially could not locate the suspect, Wright said. The man was arrested over the weekend in the Salt Lake Valley, likely because of an outstanding warrant.
Wright said the cases had been referred to the Summit County Attorney’s Office.
Catalytic converters are emission control devices that use metals like platinum to reduce polution from exhaust. Wright indicated that there is value in reselling them or recycling them for the parts.
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Utah’s legislative general session is set to end on Friday, and if history is any indicator, there will be a flurry of floor amendments and last-minute changes for county officials to monitor.