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Update: Second man charged in catalytic converter thefts

By Shavonne Potts and Hugh Fisher
spotts@salisburypost.com
A second suspect has been identified in the theft of catalytic converters that was caught on tape.
Rowan County Sheriff’s detectives now have indicated
Anthony Eugene Williams, 22, is involved in the thefts, in addition to David Clay Trexler Jr., 32, who was charged Monday.
Williams was arrested in Spencer on Sunday, charged with stealing catalytic converters. Officers made a positive identification from the video and shoe prints found at the scene.
Both men have Rowan County addresses, but officers now believe Trexler might live in Winston-Salem.
Trexler was arrested Monday and charged with the theft of six catalytic converters from trucks at Hammer Truck Sales, 310 Truck Ave., just off Interstate 85.
New information from the Sheriff’s Office shows the suspects were targeting areas along I-85 and stealing catalytic converters. Deputies have also linked the suspects to a U-Haul business in Davidson County.
Davidson County Sheriff’s officers are investigating, as well. The suspects have been operating a burgundy Dodge pickup or a 1994 Isuzu Rodeo.
Trexler is also charged with the Aug. 7 theft of three catalytic converters and an unspecified amount of copper wire from Duke Energy at 700 E. Ritchie Road, Salisbury. Williams may also be involved.
Trexler was being held late Monday in the Rowan County Detention Center under $10,000 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
Hammer Truck Sales co-owner Nat Hammer said Monday that someone had just purchased a truck Thursday morning when the dealership discovered the thefts.
“We had the truck sold,” Hammer said. “We started it up and it was really loud.”
Employees examined that vehicle and saw the catalytic converter had been taken. They found five other vehicles from which the converters had also been removed.
Hammer estimates the damage and loss at $4,000 to $5,000. Authorities put the value of the catalytic converters at $3,600 on an arrest warrant.
A security video shows two suspects in the act of taking the converters.
The video shows two men, one of whom appears to be wearing a hat, moving from truck to truck.
Hammer said the thieves had a portable saw and climbed underneath the trucks. It took about 25 minutes to steal the catalytic converters.
Hammer and co-owner Eddie Snuggs hoped that someone would recognize both men in the video, which was viewable at www.salisburypost.com.
“We are hoping someone will say, ‘I know exactly who that is,’ ” Hammer said.
Investigators said the video on the Post Web site led to a break in the case.
Hammer said he understands that the current economy is hard on everyone but wonders why thieves would target catalytic converters.
The business’ lot is secured by a gate. Hammer believes the men parked down the street at a nearby mobile home park and walked to the lot.
Authorities ask anyone with any additional information to call CrimeStoppers at 866-639-5245 or the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700.

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