(Phoenix, Arizona) – County Attorney Rachel Mitchell has made ending catalytic converter thefts and the prosecution of those who commit this offense a priority for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Today, County Attorney Rachel Mitchell announced defendant Shelton Deshawn Ford (10/73) is facing 18 misdemeanor counts of unlawful purchase or sale of a used catalytic converter.*
Last summer, Ford was found in possession of more than 1,200 catalytic converters located inside a storage facility in South Phoenix. Phoenix Police submitted a case on Ford for prosecution. Under ARS 13-3728(A), which was amended in May 2022, it is unlawful for a person to purchase, solicit, advertise, possess or sell a used catalytic converter or any nonferrous parts of a catalytic converter. Prior to May 2022, no law made it unlawful to possess a used catalytic converter in Arizona.
Under the direction of County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, this office has focused on preventing catalytic converter thefts by hosting etching events in partnership with local police departments and Midas Auto Repair. Since last summer, the office has held four catalytic converter events, the most recent one in Peoria.
“The law enacted nearly a year ago is a new tool we can use to prosecute those who possess one or more used catalytic converters, thus holding these perpetrators accountable in accordance with the law,” said County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. “Through our focused effort to provide free etching events, we offer the community a means of preventing thefts by etching identifiable information on the converter.”
A catalytic converter that is etched, stolen, and subsequently recovered by law enforcement can serve as evidence and aid in the prosecution of a defendant.
MCAO is partnering with the Scottsdale Police Department for an upcoming etching event on March 19th. More information on the event can be found here.
*A charge in a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.