GROVEPORT, Ohio — The Groveport Police Department said a months-long investigation uncovered an organized theft ring in Franklin County that stole thousands of catalytic converters.
Police announced the results of the three-month multi-agency investigation on Thursday.
The investigation, which looked back over 16 months, uncovered evidence of the theft of an estimated 13,000 catalytic converters valued at approximately $1.4 million.
The theft ring, which police say primarily operated out of the south side of Columbus, is also responsible for scrapping at least 300 vehicles while only producing titles or documentation for 40 of them.
Police said the conservative estimated loss to the community exceeds $19 million.
"The city of Groveport will not tolerate thieves targeting hard-working members of our community," said Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams. "This criminal enterprise stretched its greedy tentacles across Franklin County, and law enforcement responded in force. We can together to share manpower, resources and knowledge to build a strong case and bring this crime spree to a screeching halt."
Police said a Franklin County Grand Jury will be asked to indict at least six people on felony charges including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, receiving stolen property, scrap law violations and money laundering.
Law enforcement executed a total of nine search warrants during the investigation and recovered the following:
- 52 weapons (13 confirmed stolen)
- Two flatbed two trucks
- Criminal tools
- Multiple cut catalytic converters
- U.S. currency
- Stolen vehicles, trailers and zero turn lawn mowers
- Marijuana grow operation
The multi-agency investigation was led by Groveport police with assistance from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Reynoldsburg Police Department, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.