3 men charged in multi-county catalytic converter theft ring – WPXI

GREENSBURG, Pa. — Investigators have arrested three men suspected of leading a destructive catalytic converter theft ring that spanned several counties in our area.

“The brazen actions of these suspects have not only cost innocent drivers and business owners thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, but these suspects have terrorized our neighborhoods, our businesses in Western Pennsylvania for months,” Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole W. Ziccarelli said. .

At a press conference Tuesday, Ziccarelli announced charges against three Chicago men: Harold Wade, Antonio Johnson and Christian Buie.

According to a criminal complaint, the suspects used two rental vehicles, one traced to Washington DC, and were staying at an Airbnb on the north side of Pittsburgh.

From or around November 30, 2022 to January 21 of this year, the suspects are charged with causing more than $200,000 in damage by stealing catalytic converters in Westmoreland, Fayette and Allegheny counties.

Car dealerships, including the Jim Shorkey in North Union Township, were targeted, according to the criminal complaint. Moon Township police also suspect that the crooks stole the expensive metals from several tow trucks. According to the complaint, the suspects’ Airbnb rental was “in close proximity to numerous January 21, 2023 catalytic converter crime scenes throughout Allegheny County.” , a mobile tracking device and search warrants to identify and charge the three suspects.

“It was a very technical investigation,” North Huntingdon Police Chief Robert Rizzo said.

Rizzo added that police believe there are “probably more” victims and are encouraging anyone with information to come forward.

The three suspects were arrested on January 21.

Johnson, the complaint reads, made “incriminating statements regarding his involvement in catalytic converter thefts, including renting a U-Haul storage locker for catalytic converter thefts.”

Two of the Chicago men, Wade and Buie, had previously been arrested for “thefts related” to the catalytic converter in January 2015, according to the complaint.

The suspects are being held in Westmoreland County Jail without bond.

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