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Arrest brings US crime wave to a halt

The owner of US scrap metal business SAB Recycling LLC is suspected of running a ‘crew of thieves’ targeting catalytic converters. Insiders confirmed that the valuable car parts were turning up at the facility in Washington State in suspiciously large numbers.

The sheriff’s office of Whatsom County has arrested local entrepreneur Shawn Alan Bannon (52) in light of a string of catalytic converter thefts. He is thought to be behind more than 100 thefts taking place over the last nine months. The stolen autocatatalysts are  worth an estimated US$ 100 000.  

An informant testified that the SAB Recycling owner offered cash for specific types of autocatalysts. The businessman requested a steady stream of materials – one unit per week – and instructed his crew to wait ‘until things calm down’ once the police investigation started. The illegal scheme was recently exposed, partly owing to the fact that the required transaction documents were missing.

Local authorities charged Bannon with four counts of first-degree trafficking stolen property and five counts of attempted trafficking of stolen property. The thefts started at the end of 2018 and slowed down during the first half of this year.   

At the moment, the worldwide market for autocatalystic converters is ‘thriving’, says HTF Market Intelligence Consulting. Its market analysts project a healthy compound annual growth rate of around 3.5% in the period 2018-2025.

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