An East Point man has been indicted by the Forsyth County Superior Court for theft and other charges after reportedly stealing catalytic converters from vehicles.
In December, Demetrice Catreze Frederick was indicted on seven counts of theft by taking, one count of possession of tools for the commission of a crime and one count of fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer for his alleged role in the thefts.
According to the indictment, on March 9, 2021, Frederick allegedly took catalytic converters from seven individuals, each worth more than $500 in “its undamaged condition together with reasonable repair costs.”
Along with the thefts, Frederick allegedly possessed a saw blade and bolt cutters and attempted to flee from a deputy with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office at the time of the incidents.
At the time of his arrest, FCSO officials said the sheriff’s office and other agencies have been receiving complaints of stolen catalytic converters for months, and at about 10 p.m. on March 9, Frederick reportedly fled in a Dodge Durango after a deputy noticed the vehicle in front of a truck at a business on Post Road.
The deputy then noticed a catalytic converter lying beside the truck and attempted to stop Frederick, who fled in a “brief chase” before crashing on Kelly Mill Road near Wil Ray Lane.
Frederick ran on foot and was found and arrested after a K-9 unit was brought in.
Deputies noticed “numerous catalytic converters and an extra battery or a DeWalt power tool.”
At the business, deputies found that 11 catalytic converters had been cut off six trucks, along with a DeWalt Sawzall and space blades under one of the vehicles.
FCSO officials said Frederick posted a $46,405.50 bond in March.
Further details about the case were not immediately available.
According to a press release from The International Association of Auto Theft Investigators and The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc., thefts of catalytic converters, emissions control devices for internal combustion engines, have increased nationwide in recent years.
“Thieves are stealing converters from all types of vehicles and will make between $50 and $875 per converter depending on the type and the precious metals content,” the release said. “Many lower emission/hybrid vehicles contain higher amounts of precious metals that are currently trading at all-time high prices which is the catalyst for the increase in this crime.
“Some larger vehicles have multiple catalytic converters which make them prey for the theft. The cost to the vehicle’s owner to repair can be several thousand dollars.”The groups recommend engraving or marking catalytic converters, which often do not have serial numbers, to deter thefts and make the devices more identifiable.