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Three suspects arrested in catalytic converter thefts

The Maui News

Three people were arrested last month as suspects in a recent increase in catalytic converter thefts, police reported.

One man was arrested in the early-morning hours of Aug. 2 when police initiated a traffic stop for speeding and a defective tail light in the Lahaina area. Police said the odor of marijuana was coming from the vehicle and multiple catalytic converters were visible in the trunk area.

After the driver agreed to allow police to search him and the vehicle, police reported seizing seven catalytic converters, tools for dismembering converters, 15.79 grams of marijuana and $1,000 in cash. The driver admitted to taking the converters “to supplement his income for pocket cash,” according to police.

On the afternoon of Aug. 8, a man and woman were arrested in Central Maui after police responded to a report that a man had pulled up next to a white truck and had crawled underneath the truck. Officers saw a woman walking from a nearby pawn shop toward the location.

Officers learned the woman had just dropped off a catalytic converter for the shop to hold and had made arrangements to be paid the next day, police said. After retrieving the catalytic converter, officers matched it to the truck by crawling underneath and lining up the converter to the exhaust system, police said.

Police records show a 29-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were arrested and later released pending investigation of second-degree theft and other crimes.

A white van belonging to the man was seized while police applied for a search warrant.

Police said the two are suspected in a recent rise in catalytic converter thefts in Central Maui and Upcountry areas.

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