East Wenatchee Police Arrest Suspected Catalytic Converter Thief
East Wenatchee Police have a suspect in custody for a series of catalytic converter thefts.
The 39-year-old man from Seattle is accused of stealing catalytic converters from vehicles parked at Costco and Macy's in East Wenatchee.
East Wenatchee Police Chief Rick Johnson says the suspect was later located by one of his officers in the JC Penny's parking lot in Wenatchee.
“One of our officers had driven over to Wenatchee just to check parking lots in Wenatchee and found that occupied vehicle in the JC Penney’s parking lot,” said Johnson.
He said the suspect then fled the scene, got stuck in snow in the Olds Station area of north Wenatchee and was taken into custody after a short foot chase.
Officers say they recovered six stolen catalytic converters valued at $5,500 from the suspect's truck.
The suspect was driving a United Rentals truck with Indiana license plates.
"It's a significant crime because it takes a person’s vehicle, their means of transportation out of commission," Johnson said. "And a lot of times there's wait times on getting the replacement part, as there is with everything now. And it's a significant cost. It's my understanding that they're anywhere from a thousand to twenty-five hundred dollars to get these converters replaced."
East Wenatchee Police says they were able to identify and return two of the stolen catalytic converters. They’re asking any other people who have been the victims of catalytic converter theft recently to call Rivercom at 509-663-9911.
The suspect is charged with 1st Degree Theft, 1st Degree Possession of Stolen Property, 2nd Degree Vehicle Prowl, 1st Degree Malicious Mischief, Felony Attempting to Elude Arrest and 3rd Degree Driving with Suspended.
Johnson said East Wenatchee Police have another suspect they believe was involved in the catalytic converter thefts with the first suspect and are working on a profile of that person.