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Posted on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

Deputies arrest four suspects in thefts of catalytic converters from 16 vehicles

By Kyle Feldscher

Deputies arrested four men, ranging in age from 16 to 31, Friday morning with 16 stolen catalytic converters in their possession, according to the Washteanw County Sheriff’s Office.


File photo of a catalytic converter

Spokesman Derrick Jackson said deputies received a call at 5 a.m. Friday from the Maple Wood apartments, off of Clark Road in Ypsilanti Township, across the street from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Deputies were told that men were stealing catalytic converters, Jackson said.

Deputies went to the apartment complex and the men fled the area in a vehicle, Jackson said. A short chase ensued and ended on McAuley Drive in Superior Township, not far from the apartment complex, Jackson said.

A 16-year old Highland Park boy, a 30-year-old Detroit man, a 29-year-old Roseville man and a 31-year-old Detroit man were all arrested, Jackson said.

Deputies are working to track down the original owners of the 16 catalytic converters, Jackson said. The men are suspected of stealing other catalytic converters, but the exact number is unknown, Jackson said.

Catalytic converter thefts have become a countywide issue in the last few months. The converters change toxic fumes into non-toxic gases that can be released by a vehicle's exhaust system.

Catalytic converters are prized for the high resale value they can get on the secondary market, often between $70 and $80. The parts contain valuable metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium.

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Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Not bad for a nites work. Without taxes. $80 X 16 equals $1280. Interesting. Wonder what time they will do in jail.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

P.S. At that scrap metal dealer responsible, the sheriff's investigators are likely to find a lot of man hole covers and other property stolen from our streets and highways.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 11:21 a.m.

"Catalytic converter thefts have become a countywide issue in the last few months.". No, it's been a problem for longer than that. I agree with @Amlive and hope the sheriff squeezes these perps to learn which scrap metal dealers they have selling their stolen goods to and then when those people are arrested, the judge locks them up and throws away the keys. This is organized crime folks and needs a stiff response! If the proposed state law prohibiting scrap metal dealers from buying scrap metal for cash were already in place, it would be a very short investigation. The sheriff's investigators would just determine where the perps were doing their banking, review the bank accounts of the perps to see who they are transacting with and then they would know the identity of the kingpin scrap dealer behind this organized crime ring.


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 10:09 a.m.

There is a common thread that runs through all of these crime stories. Permissiveness. From overly permissive judges who dole out slaps on the wrists to criminals allowing career criminals to be back on the street within hours. Overly permissive law enforcement/public officials who don't see a need to crack down on junk yards which buy the converters and other obviously stolen metals. Overly permissive voters that keep electing the same weak city/county officials and judges -- always hoping for different results. Criminals from Detroit and surrounding areas know that Ann Arbor, Ypsi Township, and other nearby communities are weak on crime and are easy pickings. If fact some of your local limo liberal elites (faculty, UM senior officials, AA public officials) believe that some crime is a sort of penance for the community being financially well-off. I can imagine some UM lecturer sort of bragging to his class that some thugs had relieved him of his cell phone the night before. It's a slippery slope; watch that you don't become the next Pontiac or Detroit. From an outsider's perspective, Ann Arbor and surrounding locale are following in the same permissive footsteps of Detroit, Pontiac, and Flint -- same political mindset. "Repent before it is to late!" as those soap box preachers on the Diag proclaim. Let's face it -- the root cause of all of this is YOU.

Mike S

Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

"limo liberal elites"? As in limousines? Any A2 residents ever see a limousine in the UM gold tag spaces or the city hall parking lot?


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 2:39 a.m.

Great Job to the WCSO!!


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 1:39 a.m.

Geee....all of them from OUT OF TOWN but fleeing to a nearby residence.....if you let dirtballs live in your community they will invite their dirtball friends. Don't tolerate dirtballs.


Sun, Apr 1, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

smokeblwr, McAuley Drive is the street that rings the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital campus. The only "dirtballs" who live on McAuley Drive are the people who live in the assisted living facility on St. Joe's campus. I don't think they qualify as "dirtballs," but whatever. If you read the story carefully, you would have found that the perps fled the apartment complex, which is across the street from the hospital, and got busted on the hospital's perimeter road. They didn't get far - perhaps a quarter of a mile at best. According to the story, the perps live in Detroit, Roseville and Highland Park. They don't live here; they don't stay here, and they weren't visiting any of the assisted living "dirtballs" who live at St. Joe's. Seriously. Just read the story. The details are there.


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Any suggestions at to a solution?


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

The 16 year old was probably used to go underneath the vehicles and detach them. Glad they were successful in busting these guys. This was happening at the Miller Park & Ride a while back as well.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

I do hope that they make some effort to find what scrap metal dealer these were going to end up with. Any scrap yard that would buy a pile of converters from individuals (as opposed to a muffler shop) is every bit as guilty, and needs to be investigated.


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

I totally agree with you 1000% .. I'm so pissed about this..

Roy Munson

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

Sounds like 3 years probation for these dirtbags from these ridiculously weak Washtenaw County judges. No wonder people come from all around to do their "business" in this area.

Roy Munson

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

3 years is probably way too high. One year is probably more like it. They will be back to work in no time.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

Gee from detroit ...go figure....


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

This is reality. I was told to make sure everything is out of site before you leave your car. A friend of mine left a plastic bag she uses for groceries? In the back seat thinking nothing will come of it? It did. Smashed window and gone bag. I guess there isn't much left to do in Detroit is there?


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

This REALITY is everything that's wrong with Michigan!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

This attitude is everything that's wrong with Michigan.