Police, K-9 arrest man at gunpoint, charged in catalytic converter thefts

·3 min read

Sep. 18—Fairfield Twp. police arrested a man at gunpoint inside a storage unit facility, and is now charged with stealing two catalytic converters and more than $1,400 in power tools.

On Sunday morning, police were dispatched to a breaking and entering in progress at an industrial park business in the 6700 block of Gilmore Road. The caller said they chased a bald, white male, later identified as Shane Taylor Browning, 29, of Hamilton, off the property with a baseball bat and handgun after being caught inside a camper behind the business. No shots were fired, police said.

Two officers responded to the industrial business. Officer Corey Stebbins spoke with the owner while Sgt. Brandon McCroskey went to AAA Storage as the caller said the suspect ran toward the fenceline of the property. The storage company was on the other side of the fence.

McCroskey and Stebbins then set up a perimeter around the area and assisted a Butler County Sheriff's K-9 unit to track Browning. Police reported he dropped multiple bags, and in one of them were two catalytical converters and several tools, including a reciprocating saw which is generally used to cut catalytic converters from vehicles.

After reviewing video surveillance at AAA Storage, McCroskey discovered the suspect was still on the premises in one of the vacant storage units. Browning tried to crawl out from under the unit's garage door, and McCroskey, with his service weapon drawn, held him at gunpoint. The Butler County K-9 unit and Stebbins responded to assist in arresting the Browning, who had outstanding warrants for his arrest from the Hamilton and Fairfield police departments.

Upon searching Browning, it was discovered he also possessed a debit card that had the caller's name from the Gilmore Road business.

"During booking, Browning made incriminating statements to me and acknowledged he knew what this was about, even referencing the camera he said he was 'sleeping' in the (victim's) business property," McCroskey wrote in his report.

On Monday morning, police responded to a couple of complainants, which ended being connected to their Sunday morning arrest of Browning.

At 7:30 a.m. Monday, the owner of United Interiors said 13 power tools were stolen over the weekend from inside a van parked in the 6700 block of Gilmore Road. The van belonged to the victim's brother, who owns Primera Constriction. He told police on Monday the ignition column had been removed, and the van had been parked since Saturday afternoon.

The tools in Browning's possession belonged to the owner of United Interiors.

At 8 a.m. Monday, an officer responded to Rose Hill Burial Park's maintenance garage, 2421 Princeton Road, for a theft and break-in from over the weekend. Browning was allegedly in possession of the property taken from Rose Hill, both catalytic converters in Browning's possession were allegedly stolen from a vehicle parked at the burial park.

Browning is charged with four fifth-degree felonies, breaking and entering, theft of a credit card, possession of criminal tools, and vandalism. Charges for the Rose Hill Burial Park crimes have not yet been levied as police said they will be presented against Browning when the case is presented to a Butler County grand jury.

Browning is being housed in the Butler County jail.

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