2 charged in catalytic converter thefts | The Enterprise
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2 charged in catalytic converter thefts

Posted on April 26, 2021

Top newsLocal news

olivia@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7879

Tyndall

Tyndall

Pierce

Pierce

Tyndall

Tyndall

Pierce

Pierce

Two people are accused in a rash of catalytic converter thefts in Wilson and Nash counties.

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office arrested 28-year-old Christopher Ryann Tyndall and 30-year-old Brittany Michelle Pierce on Thursday after deputies encountered the pair while responding to a suspicious vehicle call in the Sandy Cross community, Maj. Eddie Moore said.

Tyndall ran away and was captured a short time later, Moore said.

“Heroin was discovered during the encounter,” he said.

During an interview, investigators learned that Tyndall and Pierce were responsible for multiple catalytic converter thefts, primarily in the Wilson area, Moore said, adding that the Nash County Sheriff’s Office had one case involving both individuals.

Nash deputies contacted the Wilson Police Department, which obtained arrest warrants based on information gleaned from deputies’ interviews, Moore said.

Pierce was charged with seven counts each of causing injury to property to obtain non-ferrous metal and larceny of motor vehicle parts.

Tyndall was charged with 23 counts each of causing injury to property to obtain non-ferrous metal and larceny of motor vehicle parts.

One count of each charge for Pierce and Tyndall was filed in connection to a Nash County case. The remainder of charges stem from Wilson thefts, sheriff’s officials said. Nash County deputies also charged Tyndall with possession of heroin and resisting, obstructing and delaying a public officer.

COMMON THEFT TARGET

Catalytic converters are a part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that reduces burnt engine gases and pollutants. Thieves use battery-operated reciprocating saws to cut the ends and remove them from underneath the vehicle, which officials say can be done within a matter of minutes.

Thieves often steal catalytic converters after business hours and on weekends. Any vehicle can be considered a target, according to Wilson County officials.

Officials say it’s also an expensive fix for an owner.

Perpetrators target these parts because they contain precious or rare metal that can be sold at metal recycling businesses. Officials say victims won’t be aware their converter was stolen until they turn on their ignition and hear a loud noise that sounds as if the car has a detached muffler.

Moore said thieves can sell the stolen parts for $40 to $400 apiece depending on the type of catalytic converter and the material from which it’s made.

PREVENTING METAL THEFTS

State law requires metal recycling facilities to obtain a nonferrous metals purchase permit from the sheriff in the county where they operate, Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard previously said.

The metal business must take a picture of the person and the item the person is attempting to sell, Woodard said. Buyers must make the information available to authorities upon request. Sheriffs can deny permit applications for businesses that don’t coorperate with law enforcement.

Earlier this year, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office arrested nine suspects in connection to a rash of catalytic converter thefts. Authorities offer the following prevention tips.

• Immediately recover your vehicle if it’s broken down on the roadside.

• Place lights and security systems around your business.

• Check your exhaust system if your vehicle remains in an open parking lot — including churches, businesses and day care centers — for multiple days.

• Park your vehicle in a well-lit area if it will be stationary for several days.

• Report any suspicious behavior, such as a person hanging around a stranded vehicle.

• If your catalytic converter is stolen, contact law enforcement before approaching scrap yard businesses.

Pierce

Tyndall

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