Man arrested after 1,200 catalytic converters found in Phoenix storage unit

May 27, 2022, 8:04 AM | Updated: Aug 18, 2023, 6:50 pm

Phoenix catalytic converters...

A man is in custody after more than 1,200 catalytic converters were recovered from a storage unit in Phoenix on Thursday. (Twitter Photo/@PhoenixPolice)

(Twitter Photo/@PhoenixPolice)

PHOENIX — A man was arrested Thursday after police recovered more than 1,200 catalytic converters in a Phoenix storage unit, authorities said.

The parts were discovered near 32nd and Washington streets, and a vast majority of them are believed to be stolen, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

Police said detectives launched an investigation in January into a man suspected of stockpiling a large number of catalytic converters.

They developed cause to obtain a search warrant on the storage unit and take Shelton Ford, 48, into custody.

“They found the owner of the unit and conducted surveillance on the individual where they followed him for about three months, watching him do hand-to-hand buys and sells and storing them here at this unit,” Detective Adam Popelier said in a video posted to social media.

Ford was booked into Maricopa County jail on dozens of counts of unauthorized possession of used catalytic converters, police said. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office might bring additional charges in the case.

Many of the recovered catalytic converters had fresh cuts that indicated they’d been removed from vehicles, police said.

Police estimated that the seized parts have a value of nearly $200,000.

“Thankfully the new law has been passed that we can start enforcing possession of catalytic converter to hopefully end the theft of catalytic converters,” Popelier said.

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Man arrested after 1,200 catalytic converters found in Phoenix storage unit