Busted: 14 indicted after trafficking nearly 45,000 stolen catalytic converters, police say
BEAVERTON, Ore. (KPTV/Gray News) - Police in Oregon are cracking down on catalytic converter thefts.
The Beaverton Police Department reports it has seized over 3,000 catalytic converters, hundreds of thousands of dollars, a high-end car and jewelry during its latest investigation into the trafficking of stolen catalytic converters.
According to KPTV, the department’s investigation started in late 2021 with police identifying 32-year-old Brennan Patrick Doyle, of Lake Oswego, as the leader of the criminal organization.
Police said they believe Doyle trafficked over 44,000 stolen converters since January 2021, which amounts to about $22 million.
According to Beaverton police, their investigation began when officers learned about 32-year-old Tanner Lee Hellbusch running an illegal fencing operation for stolen catalytic converters.
In March, Hellbusch was stopped by police while driving a car with over a hundred stolen catalytic converters worth about $80,000. Police said they arrested 12 other associates during their investigation.
Detectives said the organization capitalized on the increased prices of the precious metals found in catalytic converters, such as rhodium, platinum and palladium.
The department said it found eight locations connected with the crime ring that spanned over six counties and reached into other states.
On July 29, a Washington County grand jury indicted Doyle, Hellbusch and 12 other people on charges of racketeering, aggravated theft and money laundering.
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