Rochester police release possible catalytic converter thieves on lack of evidence

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester police arrested three Twin Cities men on suspicion of catalytic converter theft Saturday, Feb. 4 — but released them because they could not prove that the five catalytic converters in their vehicle were stolen.

According to Captain Casey Moilanen with the RPD, a 27-year-old woman reported that her 2008 Toyota Prius catalytic converter was stolen while she was at work at Good Dog Camp on 7th Street NW.

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Two residents in the 1500 block of 16th Street NW and the 5700 block of Long Boat Road NW each called law enforcement about attempted catalytic converter thefts the same day.

They reported seeing a team of men “jack up” Toyota Priuses before the residents confronted them and they drove off in a vehicle.

Vehicle descriptions from the reports led RPD to the Holiday gas station, where officers pulled over a car matching the one described.

Moilanen said officers found five catalytic converters in the vehicle and a “Sawzall,” which can be used to remove the devices from cars. However, all of the catalytic converters were unmarked and police could not match any of them to the woman, Moilanen said.

Rochester police distribute free catalytic converter marking kits, which are used to identify parts if stolen.

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Moilanen said if any of the catalytic converters located Saturday had been marked, law enforcement likely could have charged the men with catalytic converter theft.

Rochester residents can pick up the free kits at the Government Center or North Rochester law enforcement center.