Authorities seize stolen catalytic converters, other stolen property from Greene County location

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 2:30 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 8:37 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP/KY3) - Investigators say a property raid led to the seizure of more than 100 catalytic converters, weapons, and other stolen property.

Evan Marshall, 24, faces felony stealing and gun charges.

Investigators say between December of 2019 and October of 2021 Marshall became the target of a federal investigation regarding the theft of catalytic converters. Investigators say he purchased the stolen catalytic converters as well as other stolen property.

Greene County Deputy Paige Rippee says the sheriff’s office has seen a rise in these thefts over the last six to nine months.

”I would say on average almost every day or if not, every other day, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office has a report of a catalytic converter theft,” Deputy Rippee says.

Investigators say Marshall knew he was buying stolen catalytic converters and then giving the sellers currency to fund their addiction to narcotics.

Deputy Rippee says the sheriff’s office has investigated people exchanging stolen catalytic converters for drugs.

“People that are addicted to controlled substances will do anything and everything that they can to get that controlled substance,” Deputy Rippee says. “If that means going and stealing these catalytic converters and then going back to their drug dealer and saying hey I have this item, would you give this amount of controlled substance for this item?”

Investigators believe Marshall to be the primary buyer of these stolen converters in southwest Missouri, resulting in millions of dollars lost by victims in the community.

Deputy Rippee says stealing catalytic converters is a crime of opportunity and it’s common to see repeat offenders.

“People are getting more creative and there’s a need for these type of metals,” Deputy Rippee says. “The prices have gone up so the gears are just shifting towards that specific metal and so they’re taking the opportunity and the theft is on the rise.”

Investigators also found three stolen vehicles when searching Marshall’s property on October 15th.

That included a truck stolen from El Dorado Springs, a UTV stolen from Marionville, and a nearly $7,000 John Deere mower stolen from Conway. Each item was valued at over $750, making each a felony.

Investigators say it was known for Marshall to withdraw $100,000 at a time during the investigation. Investigators say he was wired millions of dollars in currency through the two-year investigation.

Court documents also show Marshall is facing a federal charge for possession of an unregistered firearm. Investigators say Marshall knowingly owned a weapon that was made from a shotgun and had no serial number. That firearm was not registered to Marshall but in an interview with investigators, Marshall told them that and all other firearms on his property belonged to him.

Marshall is in the Greene County Jail, on hold for U.S. Marshals.

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