Athens County man jailed in investigation of stolen catalytic converters
ATHENS, Ohio (WTAP) - An Athens County man faces felony theft charges in connection with an investigation into stolen catalytic converters, authorities said.
Athens County sheriff’s deputies arrested James Howerton, 47, of The Plains, on Wednesday after searching his home on Beech Road.
The thefts occurred over the past several months, and Sheriff’s Rodney Smith’s office said surveillance video from a business that had seven catalytic converters stolen was used to identify two men.
Authorities charged Howerton with theft, breaking and entering and possession criminal tools, all fifth-degree felonies. He is being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on $35,000.00 bond.
The identity of the second suspect hasn’t been released, but he is expected to be charged, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities also said additional charges related to drug paraphernalia that was found during the search are possible once they receive the results of lab tests.
“If you are stealing and or illegally buying catalytic converters, we will find you and bring you to justice, Smith said. "I have dedicated my criminal interdiction units, detectives and all road units to find you and put a stop to this criminal activity immediately. You can run, but you cannot hide.”
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