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Man in custody after discovery of 1,000+ catalytic converters in Phoenix storage unit

catalytic converters Phoenix PD
Posted at 6:19 AM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 17:09:01-04

PHOENIX — Phoenix police say a suspect is in custody after discovering more than 1,000 catalytic converters in a storage unit.

Investigators reportedly began the investigation in January after receiving a tip about someone possibly storing a large number of catalytic converters near 36th and Washington streets.

Videos in the player above show ABC15's past coverage of the increasing catalytic converter threats in the Valley.

Officers conducted surveillance on the suspect for several months, learning that he had apparently been doing hand-to-hand purchases of the parts.

A search warrant was obtained, leading officers to more than 1,200 catalytic converters inside the storage unit. Police say a majority of the parts are believed to be stolen, with many having cuts indicating they were removed from vehicles.

Officials estimate the street value of the parts to be nearly $200,000.

Police say the suspect, identified as 48-year-old Shelton Ford, was taken into custody. He was booked into jail on dozens of counts of unauthorized possession of catalytic converters.

The investigation is ongoing.

It is unlawful for someone to purchase or sell used catalytic converters outside of a business or commercial car/repair sale, according to a recently passed law.