COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man accused of stealing more than 1,100 catalytic converters was indicted on 42 additional charges this week.
On March 4, Tommy Cox, of south Columbus was indicted on 32 felony counts including theft, receiving stolen property, money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
On Wednesday, a Franklin County grand jury indicted Cox on the additional charges:
- 16 counts of Receiving stolen property
- 16 counts of Violation of metal scrapping laws
- Four counts of Possessing criminal tools
- One count of Tampering with evidence
- One count Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity
- One count of Money laundering
- One count of Having weapons while under disability
Cox was arrested following a nine-month investigation that led to one of the largest takedowns of an alleged catalytic converter thief.
Police say Cox was running the catalytic converter theft ring tied to stolen catalytic converters in Franklin, Fairfield, Licking, Muskingum and Morrow counties.
Cox was allegedly paying people to cut catalytic converters as well as stealing them himself. Groveport police detective Josh Gilbert said he’s been able to confirm that Cox has scrapped 1,171 converters.
Three others – Carl and Shannon Vance and Michael Butcher – were also charged in connection with the theft ring.
According to Gilbert, Cox was able to find some of his victims using an Apple Airtag, a $30 piece of technology that people may use to track their kids, pets or valuables. Cox would allegedly place the tracking device under someone’s car and wait for them to park at another location.
Police said Cox’s home in south Columbus was heavily surrounded by surveillance cameras, and he used them to help escape capture at least once.
When Franklin County SWAT did catch Cox and his girl, they found 24 catalytic converters inside his home along with guns and a credit card-making machine.
Ohio law only allows one person to sell one catalytic converter per day per scrap yard. You can read 10 Investigates’ full piece about the loophole in Ohio law that allowed the theft ring to flourish and the efforts underway to close it.