Sandy man charged in catalytic converter thefts

Sandy man charged in catalytic converter thefts

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SOUTH SALT LAKE — A Sandy man accused of stealing at least 20 catalytic converters from Salt Lake County School District vehicles has been charged with several counts of theft.

Officers looked at surveillance footage of the school district warehouse at 995 W. Beardsley Place (2480 South) and saw a man driving a Ford F150 truck into the alley by the parking lot, according to charges filed Wednesday in 3rd District Court.

Tyson Brent Anderson
Tyson Brent Anderson

The Aug. 1 footage showed several converters being thrown over a fence into the extended cab of the truck, with a woman standing nearby. Later in the video, the man returned and drove away with the woman and 29 catalytic converters from 19 vandalized vehicles, police said. Eight of the 19 vehicles had dual catalytic converters, police said.

After the media broadcast parts of the surveillance footage, police received a tip from Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division investigators identifying the man as Tyson Brent Anderson. Police converged on the scene of storage unit Anderson, 28, had rented at 3477 S. West Temple and played a "cat and mouse" game until they were able to confront him, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.

In the storage unit, officers found tools that resembled ones stolen from a company truck at a job site for Mass Electric Construction Co. at 2264 S. 900 West the same day the catalytic converters were stolen, according to the charges. The tools later were identified by a company employee.

Police also found a head lamp in the storage unit that had been stolen during a vehicle burglary in mid-July, the charges state.

Anderson told police he saw an opportunity to get multiple catalytic converters and took them to support his drug habit, according to the charges.

Anderson was charged with two counts of second-degree felony theft and one count of third-degree felony. He also was charged with criminal mischief, a third-degree felony count and class B misdemeanor count, as well as vehicle burglary, a class A misdemeanor, and criminal trespass, a class B misdemeanor.

Police said they now have the task of matching the recovered catalytic converters with the correct vehicle.

"We have to try and go under the cars and fit the ones that are cut and weld those back in place," Keller said after Anderson was arrested. "It'll be quite a process to weld them but a whole lot cheaper than buying new ones. On the low end, a converter costs upward of $1,000, and it can go up to $2,500 or more."


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