Bend Police have arrested a California man on theft and drug charges after finding four catalytic converters in his vehicle during a traffic stop. Police are looking for potential catalytic converter theft victims.
Bend PD said officers spotted Michael Barr, 37, parked illegally on Aug. 31. Police say he was parked illegally and then started driving slowly on SE 2nd Street near Scott Street.
When they talked to Barr, officers allegedly spotted two catalytic converters in the back seat of his Mitsubishi Outlander.
As they investigated, officers allegedly found two grams of methamphetamine and four Sawzall blades on Barr. They also allegedly found a Sawzall, pliers, clamps, bolt cutters, binoculars and a floor jack in the vehicle.
A search warrant on the car revealed there were four catalytic converters inside along with tools for stealing them, police said.
Bend Police want to find the owners of the converters. They are asking community members to call nonemergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 if they suspect they were the victim of catalytic converter theft between Sunday, Aug. 28 and Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Catalytic converter thefts have grown across the country due to the valuable metals used to make them, including rhodium, platinum and palladium. The metals can go for thousands of dollars an ounce. Catalytic converters are widely used in hybrid vehicles.
Barr was taken to the Deschutes County Jail on suspicion of first-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief and possession of a controlled substance.