(From left to right) John Frantz, Larry Stine, and James Tippett, all of St. Mary's County, were arrested on July 16 and charged with the theft of catalytic converters that were cut from parked vehicles throughout the area in recent weeks. (Arrest photos)
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (July 17, 2008)—Two days after the arrest of a Waldorf man for the theft of catalytic converters in Charles County, police in St. Mary's County have arrested three local men for similar crimes here.
Detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) on July 16 arrested the following three men:
-- James A. Tippett, age 20 of Hollywood, was charged with a theft scheme and 7 counts of theft;
-- Larry T. Stine, Jr., age 27 of Leonardtown, was charged with a theft scheme and 8 counts of theft;
-- John A. Frantz, age 21 of Hollywood, was charged with a theft scheme and 2 counts of theft.
The thefts of catalytic converters from unoccupied vehicles, as well as a theft of car batteries, occurred between June 1 and July 9 in locations from Charlotte Hall to California, Maryland.
Thieves typically use battery powered reciprocating saws to cut the converters loose from the exhaust system. Vehicles which have a higher ground clearance, such as SUVs and trucks, are popular targets as thieves can gain easier access to the underside of the vehicle.
Police say their investigation is continuing.