Serial Catalytic Converter Thief From SE Minnesota Finally Caught
Rochester, MN (KROC AM ) - A man who authorities think may be one of the most prolific catalytic converter thieves in southeast Minnesota is behind bars.
It appears he was done in by his phone that was found under one of the vehicles he had targeted.
Arrested Tuesday at a camper near West Concord where he had been living with his girlfriend and child was 36-year-old Shawn Clement. By the time the criminal complaint is finalized, it will likely include numerous pages.
Olmsted County Sheriff’s Capt. James Schueller says Clement is suspected in the theft of dozens of converters in southeast Minnesota, Iowa, and the Twin Cities area. Schueller says the estimated cost of the stolen devices is likely over $100,000.
The big break in the case against Clement came in October.
Deputies called to an RV dealer in Oronoco where several of the devices had been stolen found a cellphone under one of the vehicles. They discovered photographs and other evidence linked to converter thefts on the phone and traced it to Clement.
Schueller says Clement has been “on the radar” for more than a year and his crime spree includes stolen vehicles. He says Clement's girlfriend may also face charges.
He is also expected to be charged with the theft of a tracking device deputies had placed on his vehicle. Schueller says Clement discovered the device and removed it. He was asked to return it to the sheriff’s office but refused.