Fairhope business owner loses catalytic converters, helps catch suspected thieves

Baldwin County

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — When John Mixson stopped by his business late Sunday on Twin Beech Road, it didn’t take long to figure out something wasn’t right.

“I was coming here just to check things out and saw intruders stealing stuff,” Mixson said.

First, there was a guy running through the property.

“He came making some story up about somebody giving him permission, and I was like, no,” Mixson said.

That person left, but Mixson wasn’t alone for long.

“I came back and looked and another guy jumped up and said he was lost,” said Mixson.

Turns out there had been three people on his property and catalytic converters from two of Mixson’s trucks were gone.

“I knew they were up to no good, stealing something.”

Jerry Swann, 48, from Magnolia Springs and Steven Stewart, 39, from Shelby County, are booked into the Baldwin County Jail in connection with the crime.

“One charged with complicity and the others more than likely will be charged with theft of property first,” said Lt. Shane Nolte with Fairhope Police.

Mixson said it’s pretty lucky he just happened to show up.

“If they had hid, I probably wouldn’t have paid them no attention. I probably would have come in here do what I had to do and left,” said Mixson.

Instead, he caught them in the act, and if he could tell them anything his message would be pretty simple.

“Get a job and quit doing drugs,” Mixson said. “That’s what they are doing it for because most of them are drug heads.”

Mixson said he feels for them in a way because he understands having a hard time, but that’s no excuse for stealing.

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