An alert Evansville patrol officer and a piece of high tech equipment led to the arrest of three men for stealing two catalytic converters off of cars Tuesday morning.
Officer Dan Hoehn was on routine patrol in the 200 block of S. Kerth when he observed several subjects that appeared to be working on a black Pontiac.
Hoehn recognized one of the subjects and, after checking his name in the computer, found he had active felony warrants. Before Hoehn could get back around the block, the subjects had left in a white Pontiac. Hoehn examined the black Pontiac and discovered the converter had been removed and the cuts appeared to be fresh.
The patrol car Hoehn was driving is equipped with a license plate recognition system that records every plate it encounters, as well as captures video. Hoehn used the information stored by the LPR system to get the registration on the white Pontiac and identify its' owner. the images taken at the time of the theft were used to give a detailed description to other officers in an attempt to find the suspects.
About an hour after first seeing the suspects, Hoehn spotted them again in the same area and initiated a car stop. One of the suspects left the car and allegedly tried to discard a converter behind a garage. 43-year-old Glenn Eastwood Sr., 48-year-old Derek Baker, and 38-year-old Alvin Peters were taken into custody.
The officer says other items were found in the car linking the suspects to two converter thefts. There had been numerous similar thefts in the area and police believe the individuals arrested in this case were responsible for some of those thefts as well. The converters have valuable metals in them that the thieves sell at area scrap yards.
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