Dec. 31—Ashland Police and a Boyd County deputy arrested three on theft charges in the early hours of Friday morning. The trio is accused of stealing catalytic converters.
Steven Leslie Clark, 44, of Ashland, and Bethany Nicole Sturm, 30, are charged with theft by unlawful taking parts from vehicle $1,000 or more but under $10,000.
Daniel W. Kinder, 25, of Hamlin, West Virginia, is charged with theft by unlawful taking parts from vehicle $1,000 or more but under $10,000 and second-degree fleeing or evading police on foot.
APD received a call from a witness who woke to the sound of sawing outside of their home, according to a post from the department. The witness looked outside and saw a blue Jeep parked by their truck with one person on the side of the truck and one underneath. The witness snapped a photo and called 911, according to APD.
The description matched another call from a few minutes earlier.
"APD Officer Frint arrived on the scene, narrowly missing the crew before they drove off. Officer Frint quickly confirmed the catalytic converter had been sawn off a truck and broadcasted the description of the fleeing vehicle," the APD post stated. "Boyd County Deputy Bell received the radio traffic and was on the lookout when he observed the matching vehicle at Speedway on U.S. 60. Deputy Bell notified the dispatch center of the activity and traffic stop. APD Officers Frint and Blair headed that way."
Deputy Bell pulled up behind the vehicle. A male fled on foot, but was stopped by Bell, according to APD. APD officers arrived and located the two other suspects, a male and a female around the vehicle.
All three are booked in the Boyd County Detention Center.
"The main reason that people are hearing more about catalytic converters is that these parts are valuable. A cordless saw can make quick work of the removal. Inside, the converters consist of platinum, rhodium, and palladium, all of which are precious metals. A converter's scrap value can yield well over $200 per piece. If the precious metals are removed and separated, it can yield thousands per ounce. Owners notice when they start up their cars and they hear very loud noises and smells coming from their vehicle. Replacement costs are reported to be over $1,000," according to APD.