WESTLAKE, Ohio — A 41-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman were arrested Tuesday by Westlake police for catalytic converter thefts at several local businesses.
According to Westlake police, the first theft happened on Feb. 17 at a business in the 29000 block of Clemens Road. Police said security camera footage of the incident showed two people in a four-door sedan that was missing hubcaps go onto the property. One person then got out and cut the catalytic converter off a nearby vehicle. The theft took less than three minutes.
On Sunday, a business on Sharon Drive reported two vehicles were targeted and their catalytic converters were cut off.
On Tuesday, a different business on Sharon Drive told police someone tampered with two vehicles and stole the catalytic converter off of one vehicle.
Also on Tuesday, a business on Sperry Drive also reported having a catalytic converter stolen off a vehicle parked on the property Monday night.
Police checked surveillance footage of the thefts and confirmed that the same sedan — a Chevrolet Cobalt with no hubcaps — hit all four businesses. Police said they made a plan to catch the culprits and set up outside the business on Clemens road that was hit last week.
Just before midnight, the same sedan pulled into the Clemens Road business. A man exited the vehicle "to attempt to repeat his past thievery," police said, but was approached by a detective. The man got back into the car and the sedan started to drive away, only to be stopped by a police cruiser lying in wait.
Inside the car, police said they found a reciprocating saw and several extra blades. Police also found marijuana and heroin in the vehicle.
The man was charged with a felony count of breaking and entering, police said. Additional drug charges are expected. The woman was also charged with breaking and entering and theft charges are expected. Furthermore, police said the woman may be charged with a felony conveyance of drugs into jail charge since it was discovered she had suspected drugs on her while being held in the Westlake jail.
Their cases have been bound over to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for consideration by the prosecutor's office and a grand jury, police said.
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