They were caught in the act and now two Eastern Kentucky brothers are in jail accused of stealing catalytic converters.
Police arrested 24 year old David Parsons and 23 year old Chris Parsons Monday night in Pikeville.
For weeks, police around Pikeville have received reports of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles. This is not an easy job. It requires some sort of electric saw to remove the converter from the exhaust system. Police say the brothers were selling the car parts for scrap metal.
Police first spotted Chris and David Parsons' vehicle in the Pikeville Medical Equipment parking lot.
"That vehicle matched the description of a suspect vehicle that was involved in a lot of the catalytic converter thefts that have been going on in the area," said Det. Phillip Reed with the Pikeville Police Department.
The brothers were then arrested in the Pikeville High School parking lot where police found a crow bar, car jack, and reciprocating saw still warm from use in their backseat.
"A search of the vehicle revealed five catalytic converters in the trunk of the vehicle," Reed said.
Police returned to the Pikeville Medical parking lot where they found another vehicle with a missing converter.
"That vehicle was in fact missing a catalytic converter. It had been cut from the vehicle, so at that point both suspects were put under arrest," Reed said.
To be sold simply as scrap metal, this type of theft is costly for the victim.
"Depending on the model of vehicle and the make, it can range anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 dollars to repair," said Mechanic Jeff King.
Repairing the vehicle is not an easy job for mechanics either.
"When they do that, the converter needs to be replaced as well as the complete exhaust system," King said.
Chris and David Parsons are charged with criminal mischief, receiving stolen property, and possession of burglary tools. Police say this is an ongoing investigation. They are unsure if the brothers are responsible for all of the converter thefts in the area.
Four of the five stolen converters have been returned to their owners.