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Two Men Accused Of Stealing Vehicle Parts From State College & Penn State Face Federal Charges

Two Kentucky men are facing federal charges for allegedly stealing $90,000 worth of catalytic converters, including six from vehicles at two State College businesses and Penn State.

A grand jury on Thursday, March 10, indicted Jose William Perez Felipe and Wilber Sori San Miguel on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and interstate transportation of stolen property.

According to the indictment filed in Pennsylvania’s Middle District Court, the pair traveled from Kentucky with 22 stolen catalytic converters and picked up two more in Ohio before arriving in State College on December 1. They allegedly stole three of the valuable emissions control devices from trucks at two State College businesses that day and three from vehicles at Penn State’s Office of the Physical Plant lot the following day.

They allegedly planned to take the 30 stolen catalytic converters to New York to be sold.

Both are scheduled to be arraigned on March 16.

Catalytic converters have become an increasingly popular target for theft because they contain valuable precious metals that have risen in cost and can be removed quickly from the exterior of a vehicle.

Cities across the country have reported spikes in catalytic converter thefts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, catalytic converter theft claims reported to insurance companies rose from 3,389 in 2019 to 14,433 in 2020.

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About the Author

Geoff Rushton (StateCollege.com)

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at geoff.rushton@statecollege.com or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.

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