KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After a monthslong investigation involving the theft and sale of catalytic converters, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Blount and Scott County sheriff’s offices, made some arrests. Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler announced Tuesday his office has arrested and charged eight men who were found to be involved in the sale of catalytic converters.
This announcement came as a relief for Farragut business owner Scott Bailey. Bailey runs the afterschool program, P3 Sportsplex. He has a fleet of eight buses that transport hundreds of students from their schools to his building every day.
“About two weeks ago, we bought bus No. 7 and we brought it back here. Just had it wrapped, brand new bus, and we come out on a Monday morning and they had cut … (the) catalytic converter off,” Bailey said.
Two weeks ago wasn’t the first time this happened. His buses have been a target long before the start of this investigation.
“We’ve been hit 10 times over the past three years,” Bailey said. “And we’ve probably lost about $20,000 in total in repairs and maintenance.”
At the time of this interview, Bailey had one of his buses in the shop for repairs after the catalytic converter was stolen just a week before.
While these guys may not be the ones that actually removed the converters from the buses at Bailey’s business, these arrests make him hopeful that the catalytic converter craze may be coming to an end.
“It’s just a relief for us operationally to make sure that our program runs the way it’s supposed to run. It was a big relief to know that they made some arrests and we don’t have to worry as much anymore on our buses being operational,” Bailey said.
The charges for the eight men arrested include theft, and money laundering among other charges. The investigation is ongoing.