Three arrested, 125 catalytic converters recovered during theft ring bust in Lafourche Parish
LAFOURCHE PARISH - Three men were arrested in a string of over 125 catalytic converter thefts across Lafourche Parish.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office said Saturday that deputies arrested 54-year-old Jose Elizondo-Villarreal, 37-year-old Steven Sparks Jr., and 31-year-old Percy Calloway Jr.
They also recovered 125 converters, the majority of which are believed to be stolen, according to the sheriff's office.
The sheriff's office began investigating the thefts in February 2022 and learned that Sparks and Calloway were stealing catalytic converters and selling them to Elizondo-Villarreal, who provided cash for the parts "without questioning origin or keeping proper records of sales."
Sparks was located on LA 1 in Thibodaux on Monday, March 21. Deputies found Sparks had three stolen converters, saws, saw blades, car jacks, and small bags of methamphetamine with him. They then learned that Sparks had previously stolen over a dozen converters and sold them to Elizondo-Villarreal for cash.
With the help of the National Insurance Crime Bureau and State Police, investigators led a search of Elizondo-Villarreal's business, revealing he had 122 converters, many believed to be stolen.
Elizondo-Villarreal was arrested and booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex on charges of felony illegal possession of stolen things and failure to keep proper receipts of business transactions. He was released on Thursday, March 24, on a $200,000 bond.
Sparks was arrested and booked on charges of illegal possession of stolen things, possession of tools for a crime, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, attempted felony theft, theft, and criminal trespassing. He is still in custody with a $137,500 bond, according to the sheriff's office.
Calloway was already in custody of the Patterson Police Department after a March 5 arrest when he was arrested on contempt charges, protective order violations, and property damage. On March 25, he was booked with additional charges of theft and criminal trespassing with a $128,500 bond.
The case remains under investigation.
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