Man caught stealing catalytic converter

A Grambling man was arrested after a report a business owner caught him sawing off and stealing a truck’s catalytic converter.

James Willie Burks, Jr., 70, was arrested for criminal damage to property over $500, criminal trespass, and theft after the representative of a Grambling business called police reporting he had caught a man stealing a catalytic converter. The complainant told officers Burks crawled out from under a GMC truck parked at the business with the converter in one hand and a metal saw in the other. When Burks was confronted, he dropped the converter and left.

A catalytic converter converts toxins like carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into less harmful byproducts, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide.

Thieves are motivated to steal catalytic converters because they contain precious metals like platinum and rhodium. Converter theft have become a nationwide epidemic. While a stolen catalytic converter can fetch a few hundred dollars at a metal recycler, a victim will pay at least $1,000 to replace it. 

Grambling Police located Burks at his Main Street residence where he admitted he cut the converter off the truck. He was transported to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center and booked. Bail was set at $4,500.

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