YORK COUNTY, SC – Since July 1, 2020 York County detectives have investigated approximately 40 catalytic converter theft cases. As catalytic converter thefts continue, detectives have made three arrests of people in possession of more than 20 removed converters.
On November 18, 2020 detectives arrested Brian Lee McCrary, 43, of York after locating 19 catalytic converters in the bed of the pickup truck McCrary was driving. McCrary was charged with 19 counts of Unlawful Transporting and possession of nonferrous metals.
On November 18th, deputies arrested and charged Andrew Eugene Beltz, 35, of Rock Hill with two counts of Unlawful Transporting and possession of nonferrous metals.
On November 19th, deputies arrested and charged Gregory Wayne Shamburg, 35, of Fort Mill with one count of Unlawful Transporting and possession of nonferrous metals.
It is unclear if these three suspects originally stole the converters.
“I am proud of the hard work and countless hours our detectives have put in to investigate this national trend of catalytic converter thefts,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson. “People who cut converters off of church busses and child daycare vans cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage just to get a few hundred dollars for just one converter.”
Thieves have targeted trucks, large busses, vans, and hybrid cars for converters. If you have a vehicle that may be targeted, detectives ask you to follow these crime prevention tips:
- Park your vehicles in well-lit areas.
- Add surveillance cameras to help investigators identify the people cutting the converters.
- Watch for any suspicious activity and call 9-1-1 right away.
Catalytic converters are a component of every vehicle’s exhaust system. A catalytic converter is a device that converts toxic chemicals produced by your vehicle into relatively harmless gasses before they are emitted into the atmosphere. Catalytic converters contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
**PHOTO: Recovered Catalytic Converters
Brian Lee McCrary
Andrew Eugene Beltz
Gregory Wayne Shamburg