FORSYTH, Ga. — Editor's Note: The video in this story is from WMAZ coverage of catalytic converter thefts in Warner Robins and tips on preventing them.
Three men are now charged after an investigation into the thefts of catalytic converters in the Central Georgia region.
According to a news release from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the first arrest happened on March 8 when investigators received information that helped them solve three cases in Bibb County, one in Jones and one in the city of Forsyth.
The suspect in those cases is identified as Shawn Allen Grant, and he faces two charges of felony theft by taking and one count of misdemeanor theft by taking.
The second arrest was made on March 16 after an undercover sting operation. Branden Wilson faces charges of unlawful purchase of secondary metals and one count of purchase by recycler of secondary metals without proper registration.
The final arrest was made on March 19 after a homeowner reported several stolen catalytic converters on Teagle Road. Victor Bowen is accused of stealing seven converters, and is charged with felony theft by taking and three counts of misdemeanor theft by taking.
What is a catalytic converter?
Every car built after 1974 has a catalytic converter. The part is attached to the belly of the vehicle and can be accessed by a person sliding under the vehicle.
That’s why trucks and SUVs that sit higher off the ground are easier targets. Catalytic converters turn harmful pollution into less harmful emissions, and if your catalytic converter is stolen, you’ll know it as soon as you turn on your vehicle.
There are only a few grams of precious metals inside one catalytic converter, and the part is basically untraceable