OPP make arrest in catalytic converter thefts

Two individuals are facing multiple charges after an OPP investigation into catalytic converter thefts, which took place in various locations across eastern Ontario.

Beginning in March 2022, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU) of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) began an investigation dubbed “Project Maranta”. The investigation was in response to an increase in catalytic converter thefts in the Municipality of North Grenville and surrounding area.

The CSCU was assisted by members of the Grenville County OPP Detachment to help identify a vehicle and persons of interest, according to a release from the OPP, dated Thursday, Apr. 7, 2022.

On Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022, the CSCU conducted a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle as it entered a private parking lot in the Town of Morrisburg, Ontario. According to the release, two accused were arrested without incident. A search incident to arrest resulted in the discovery of three catalytic converters that had been recently cut from vehicles, OPP said. The CSCU also located and seized reciprocating saws, other tools, items designed to disguise identity, multiple mobile phones, and a quantity of suspected methamphetamine. The vehicle was also seized by police.

Vehicle seized by OPP. Image via OPP.

Anthony Dawson, 35 years of age, of North Grenville, Ontario, has been charged with:

  • Theft under $5,000 – two counts
  • Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 – three counts
  • Mischief under $5,000 – two counts
  • Possession of a Schedule I substance

Joyce La France, 38 years of age, of Elizabethtown Township, has been charged with:

  • Failure to comply with release order – four counts
  • Theft under $5,000 – two counts
  • Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 – three counts
  • Mischief under $5,000 – two counts
  • Possession of a Schedule I substance

Both were held for a bail hearing and remain in custody at this time.

The investigation has also been linked to thefts in the County of Lennox & Addington area and is still ongoing at this time. It continues to be led by the CSCU.

If anyone has surveillance footage or information about this investigation or others like it, please notify the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Incidents may also be reported online.

Incidents such as this have been occurring in areas of Eastern Ontario for some time, according to the release. The OPP is reminding store owners and employees to be vigilant if carrying these types of products, and employ security measures if possible. For property owners, the SafeGuard Ontario Property Security Program contains information and videos on how to better protect your property.

To report information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-(TIPS) 8477 or submit a tip online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca. Crime Stoppers does not want your name, you don’t go to court, and you could earn a cash reward.

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