Catalytic converter cutting crook caught, police say

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Olympia Police arrested the first of what be might a regional catalytic converter theft ring, after witnessing a vehicle owner give chase to an alleged thief underneath the Red Lion Hotel parking garage.

Logen Elliott, 23, of Pe Ell, was arrested for gross misdemeanor theft of motor vehicle parts on May 16.

Olympia police witnessed Eric Bryan, 50, chasing after Elliott, who dropped a bag of tools and entered a 2005 Nissan Sentra. Bryan arrived at the Nissan and “pounded” on the passenger window. A member of the Red Lion maintenance staff, Earl Dustin, who had witnessed Elliott underneath Bryan’s Ford Explorer, alerted Bryan, who confronted Elliott. 

Dustin told officers that he witnessed Elliott appearing to “cut off a catalytic converter” from Bryan’s vehicle.

Olympia Police observed that the Explorer’s exhaust pipe behind the catalytic converter was cut through.

Another vehicle, a white Mercedes, was observed by officers in the area which Dustin told police he believed was a lookout vehicle. The Mercedes honked and then drove off as Elliott was detained.

Elliott was arrested and booked into the Olympia Jail. Elliott’s Nissan was about to be towed when Dustin Fournier, 25, of Centralia, then approached Olympia Police, asking to retrieve his backpack from inside the car. Fournier said that his friend Denise Mayner, 37, of Puyallup, had driven him to Olympia in a white Mercedes.

A search of the Nissan revealed multiple hand tools and a green battery-powered Ryobi reciprocating saw in the rear driver’s side seat.  The trunk of the car was open and the officer reported that he could see "at least two catalytic converters" in the trunk of the vehicle. 

Today’s Police Blotter indicates that Elliott was also arrested yesterday in Yelm on suspicion of criminal trespassing.

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