Police arrest 2nd suspect in a catalytic converter theft in late March

Julie Humphreys, Public Safety Communication Manager, Spokane Police and Fire

Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 2:22 p.m.

UPDATE: Police arrest 2nd suspect in a catalytic converter theft in late March, vehicle seized tied to additional catalytic converter thefts

On 04/20/2022 an investigation by SPD’s SPEAR (Stolen Property Enforcement and Recovery) Unit resulted in the arrest of Daniel Girton (32) at a gas station on North Division. Detectives were made aware that Girton and several companions had shown up at Action Recycling trying to sell a converter. Believing the converter was stolen, Action Recycling called SPD with a description of the car and the license plate number. SPD officers spotted the vehicle at a local gas station and arrested Girton. The other occupants may face charges as well. Inside the car was the type of saw commonly used to remove a converter and a converter that had been cut. The car was seized for future forfeiture as it was used in the commission of a felony crime.

The car is also linked to the theft of two catalytic converters from two passenger buses at the Corbin Senior Center on W. Cleveland Ave last week. Employees at Action Recycling had seen media coverage of the thefts and recognized the converter brought into their facility as the same type that may belong to a passenger bus. Buy back facilities in Spokane like Action Recycling are increasingly working with police to identify people who attempt to sell stolen converters. A law recently enacted and progressively being implemented, places new requirements on scrap yards and auto wreckers that purchase catalytic converters for recycling. Converters contain precious metals which make them valuable for resell.  SPD appreciates the help of recycling businesses and witnesses in reporting suspected criminal activity related to catalytic converters. With arrests and awareness, SPD is working to make a substantial dent in the steep rise of catalytic converter thefts in our area.

Police also recovered evidence during the arrest that ties the Ford Explorer to the theft of another catalytic converter, this one from a Honda Element. The investigation into this theft and the passenger bus converter thefts is ongoing. The converter located in the Ford Explorer was discovered to be from a Kia, indicating the Ford Explorer may have been used in additional catalytic converter thefts.

Girton was charged with 2nd Degree Theft, 2nd Degree Malicious Mischief, and Attempted 1st Degree Trafficking in Stolen Property – all felony charges – and was booked into the Spokane County Jail. He has 11 felony convictions including 2nd Degree Theft and Trafficking in Stolen Property.

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Julie Humphreys