MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — An early morning traffic stop led to the recovery of at least 36 catalytic converters that were stolen in Maryland Heights.
The Maryland Heights Police Department said in a statement that at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday one of its officers stopped a vehicle on Dorsett Road and recognized it from a crime bulletin about catalytic converter thefts.
During the stop, the officer saw two saw blades and two catalytic converters inside the vehicle.
The people inside the vehicle were arrested and interviewed, leading police to an apartment in a neighboring jurisdiction. Inside, detectives recovered 39 catalytic converters.
One of the suspects admitted that 36 of them had been stolen in Maryland Heights.
The department noted catalytic converter thefts have surged across the metro area this year.
"In the last two weeks, a Maryland Heights city owned vehicle had the catalytic converter cut off it while it was parked in a public parking lot," the department said. "And, a large number of catalytic converters were stolen from Post Office vehicles while they were parked at one of the local Post Offices."
In a recent State Farm study ranking catalytic converter theft claims over the past year, Missouri came in seventh and Illinois came in fourth. Back in July, a 66-year-old man was shot in the arm while trying to stop a catalytic converter theft in St. Louis.
Maryland Heights police reminded anyone who sees suspicious activity to contact police.