Man accused of stealing catalytic converters from Beaumont police

Footage showed two people dressed in black and carrying flashlights walking to a fence and entering a secure lot.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A man accused of stealing catalytic converters from the Beaumont Police Department was indicted Wednesday by a Jefferson County jury.

Investigators believe Justin Williams, 28, of Beaumont, stole two catalytic converters from two cars at the department’s Special Services Division on May 26, 2022.

Beaumont detectives arrived at work that morning and noticed a piece of barbed wire on top of a fence had been cut and pulled to the side. Investigators suspected that someone was in the secure area, so they checked the cameras at the station.

Footage showed two people dressed in black, with flashlights, jumping the fence and entering the parking lot around 10 p.m. Police also said the two were seen on camera removing catalytic converters from two Honda Accords.

Cell phone records located Williams at the scene of the alleged crime at 9:53 p.m. on May 26. The phone remained in the secure lot area for 30 minutes, the affidavit says.

Police said Williams received a call at 10:12 p.m. that lasted about 29 minutes. Beaumont Police believe the person who called and spoke with Williams was the suspect who was driving the getaway car to and from the scene.

As the investigation progressed, detectives received more evidence linking Williams to the theft of the catalytic converters.

A Beaumont detective was tipped off about recycled catalytic converters in Sulphur, Louisiana. It was a list with details about the sellers, such as the name of the person, the date of sale, and the license plate of the car the seller used to get to the location.

Investigators said they found Williams’ name on the list of people selling catalytic converters there.

The listing showed that Williams sold the catalytic converters on May 26 around noon for $945, the affidavit says. Cell phone records also located Williams at the scene of the Sulfur, Louisiana auto shop around 12:07 p.m. on May 26.

Beaumont investigators then went to the auto recycling facility in southwestern Louisiana and recovered the stolen converters.

Investigators said at least one end of the catalytic converters matched cuts in an exhaust pipe from the department’s Honda Accords.

Investigators said they were able to match discoloration on both vehicles’ exhaust pipes to the two stolen converters.

The cost to replace the catalytic converters on the two vehicles is more than $4,000, not including parts and labor, the affidavit says.

Williams is charged with theft of property and his bail is set at $200,000, according to jail records.

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This is a developing story. We’ll update with more if and when we get more confirmed information.

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