7 Missourians indicted in catalytic converter theft ring

catalytic converter
Posted at 6:23 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 19:23:33-05

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A federal grand jury has indicted seven southwest Missouri residents who allegedly stole thousands of catalytic converters and sold them to an Arkansas company for millions of dollars, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

The thefts have increased dramatically in the Springfield area for the last two years, U. S. Attorney Teresa Moore said in a statement.

"Not only were numerous individual car owners victimized by these thefts, but several nonprofit organizations and churches were also victimized," she said.

Five people from Springfield and two from Rogersville were indicted this week on charges of conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines and interstate transportation of stolen property. The operation ran from from Dec. 12, 2019, to Oct. 15, 2021, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said some of those indicted stole the catalytic converters while others bought them and sold them to a business in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Investigators estimate the suspects stole tens of thousands of catalytic converters and received $6.8 million from the Arkansas company.

Theft of the emission control devices has skyrocketed across the country because they contain valuable precious metals.

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