Moses Lake Police and Grant County law enforcement have been battling what they call an epidemic of catalytic converter theft over the last few months.  It's been rapidly increasing. But it didn't stop them from having a little wry fun at the expense of a suspect.

   The man was not wearing eye protection but had a COVID mask

This is at least the fourth converter theft apprehension in just over a week by Moses Lake Police.

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Late Monday night, officers on patrol on South Frontage Road spotted a man underneath a vehicle at a local car dealership. The suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Trevor Schaffer, was busy cutting away, trying to remove a converter. According to the MLPD:

" He was not wearing eye protection during the crime, which is a major safety no-no. On the other hand, the suspect was fully masked against catalytic-borne COVID."

A wry, hilarious take on the suspect's safety ideas.

MLPD says he was then booked into the Grant County jail on charges of theft second-degree and malicious mischief 2nd degree. According to the MLPD:

"As with most property crimes, cat thefts are primarily driven by the drug trade and drug addiction, and the market for stole cats."

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