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2 arrested after catalytic converter thefts in Bastrop, El Dorado

Thefts rising in Bastrop and El Dorado
Thefts rising in Bastrop and El Dorado(KNOE)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:34 PM CDT
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BASTROP, La. (KNOE) - There has been an increase in the theft of catalytic converters, and those who steal them are reselling the items and earning lucrative profits, authorities have said.

Law enforcement officials in Bastrop and El Dorado, Ark. reported recent thefts of the item, which is part of a vehicle’s emissions system.

Authorities said that the number of those involved in the crimes is unknown as it is difficult to get an exact number.

“It could be five [people], or it could be a dozen,” said Jeff Stinson, a captain at the Union County Sheriff’s Office. “We don’t have really evidence to suggest that there are two or three people doing all of them.”

In just the last three months, more than a dozen catalytic converters have been stolen in El Dorado. Stinson said the rising numbers of thefts could be due to people being away on vacation and their increasing value, which is upwards of $800 per converter.

Bastrop police said they are also seeing an uptick in stolen catalytic converters, and they do not believe it is a mom-and-pop operation behind the thefts.

“From our investigation, we can see they are pretty organized at doing it,” said Leondrio Reed, the chief of police for Bastrop. “So it’s not just one or two people, they have a little organized ring of people that participate in this.”

So far, two people have been arrested: Michael Davis in Bastrop and Skyler Paryberry in south Arkansas. Investigators are continuing to search for more people that could be involved.

CrimeStoppers is offering a cash reward to help catch the suspects. To report suspicious activity, contact your local law enforcement agency.

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