NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man is behind bars and another is being sought after taking catalytic converters from church vehicles.
The men were caught on surveillance cameras in two incidents. The latest incident happened Wednesday morning in West Nashville at Charlotte Heights Church of Christ.
Multiple surveillance cameras caught the thief in action. The suspect, 44-year-old Donny Romines first arrived on the property at around 7 a.m. Officials with the congregation believe that’s when he stole a van’s catalytic converter.
He returned about an hour later, but was caught by a church member as he tried to cut the catalytic converter from the church bus. Romines ran away, but a lawn-care worker chased after him. Metro police say Romines threatened the worker with an electric saw, but the worker continued to follow him at a distance all the way to Nashville West shopping center until officers arrived and took Romines into custody.
It’s a crime mechanics at Midas off Charlotte Pike say they are seeing far too often.
“This is about the sixth, seventh one within this month with it being gone,” mechanic Seth Gonzalez told News 2.
The precious metals make easy money for thieves and it’s costly for victims.
“With this converter missing, they are looking at about $2,000, and that’s coming from people’s wallets at the church,” Gonzalez said.
Last Friday, Romines was also caught on camera cutting a catalytic converter from a church van at Madison Church of Christ before he was busted by church members. It’s a crime Metro police say he admitted to as they continue looking for his accomplice.
“It’s crazy for somebody to be worth that, running and going to jail over precious metal. I mean
there’s tons of people being hired right now. I mean, it might not be quick money, but you know you are not going to end up in jail like that guy is.”
Wingate Church of Christ in South Nashville tells News 2 they were also victims of a catalytic converter theft Wednesday morning. It’s unclear who the suspect is in that case.
Gonzalez says there are ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
“They can take and spray paint them. A lot of people won’t take them if they are spray painted, like hot pink, neon yellow, engrave their name or something into it. A lot of people won’t mess with them then, because when they take it somewhere to sell it, it’s already been marked,” he explained.
Anyone with information on the second suspect seen in the surveillance footage from Madison Church of Christ is asked to call Metro Police at 615-862-8600.