New arrest connected to widespread catalytic converter thefts

Local News

Joseph Matthew Saulters

Waco police have arrested a man thought to have been the head of a group of people involved in cutting fifty or more catalytic converters from the exhaust systems of vehicles in Central Texas.

Because a stolen ID was used by the man, the initial charges include 11 counts of fraudulent use or possession of identifying information along with two counts of engaging in organized crime.

Joseph Matthew Saulters was booked into the McLennan County Jail Tuesday.

An arrest affidavit names Saulter as one of the suspects involved in cutting catalytic converters off one vehicle two separate times, removing one that had been replaced following the first theft.

Another was cut from a vehicle parked during the lunch hour at a local restaurant.

The arrest affidavit states that fifty stolen catalytic converters were sold in 14 transactions on 11 different days from August 3 through August 26 to a parts business in Bruceville Eddy.

Each time, an ID previously stolen was scanned and attached to the sales ticket following the transactions.

The affidavit stated that each transaction was captured on video and showed a man investigators say they have identified as Saulters using the stolen ID

The affidavit said that Saulters was wearing a mask but was identified by multiple tattoos including tattoos on both shoulders.

Investigators requested and received a warrant for the arrest of Saulters, who was then booked into the McLennan County Jail with additional charges of burglary of a habitation, two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and failure to ID as a fugitive.

Jail records showed he had previously been out on bond on two of the charges, with bond for the new charges totaling $42,000. No bond was listed for the two charges filed previously.

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