Six men arrested for 131 catalytic converter thefts

The Limestone County Sheriff's Office says that six people were arrested over the last two weeks for connections to 131 catalytic converter thefts.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 10:07 AM CDT
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LIMESTONE Co., Ala. (WAFF) - The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office says that it has arrested six people and charged them with a total of 131 charges related to catalytic converter thefts.

According to a Facebook post from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, a catalytic convert business in Athens was suspected of unlawful sales. L and C Converters is a secondary metal recycler that purchases catalytic converters but according to Alabama law, that is illegal unless the entire car is purchased.

The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office observed converts being sold for cash at the business and contacted the individuals. Upon making contact, law enforcement discovered that the man delivering converters, Gary Swearinger, had a warrant with the Athens Police Department.

Swearinger was then detained and the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office discovered marijuana, methamphetamine pills and fentanyl in his possession.

Investigators also discovered 36 catalytic converters in plain view at the shop and shop owner, Jimmy Free Jr. did not have documentation for any of the converts.

The Limestone County Sheriff's Office says that 36 converters were within plain view at the...
The Limestone County Sheriff's Office says that 36 converters were within plain view at the time of the arrest.(Limestone County Sheriff's Office)

Free Jr. was arrested and charged with 36 counts of ownership documentation required for catalytic converter purchase. Free is being held at the Limestone County Detention Center with a $180,000 bond. Swearinger was arrested and charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, he has been released from the Limestone County Detention Center on a $8,500 bond.

Limestone County Sheriff, Joshua McLaughlin says that he will not tolerate catalytic converter thefts in Limestone County.

“We have arrested 6 individuals, on a total of 131 charges related to the theft of catalytic converters, in the past 12 days,” McLaughlin said. “We will not tolerate catalytic converter crimes in Limestone County.”

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