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Three Caught In The Act Cutting Off Catalytic Converters On Automotive Lot In Jefferson

Three suspects were taken into custody after being caught in the act of stealing catalytic converters. The Jefferson Police Department received a call from Bret Durbin, of Durbin Automotive, at approximately 2:39 a.m. Tuesday morning, reporting he had seen the three, with one under a vehicle, at the lot in the 200 block of West Head Street, and he could hear a power tool running. Durbin told officers that before they arrived, the three had walked southwest. An officer and a deputy with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office found the suspects near a parked vehicle in the 400 block of West McKinley, and could see a battery powered Sawzall in that vehicle. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officials also found three catalytic converters removed from vehicles at Durbin Automotive, three battery-operated reciprocating saws and other tools used in the theft. This led to the arrests of 47-year-old Jason Edward Trotter of Perry, 40-year-old Nicholas Joseph White of Newton and 30-year-old Sharlee Jean Royce of Grinnell. They have all been charged with second-degree theft and felony possession of stolen property, class D felonies, and fourth-degree criminal mischief and trespassing causing more than $300 in damage, serious misdemeanors. Officers requested and received a warrant to search the vehicle to gather additional evidence and executed the warrant at approximately 5:05 p.m. They recovered a substance suspected to be methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Narcotics charges are pending laboratory testing results.

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