UPDATE: Man wanted for catalytic converter thefts arrested

Mobile County

UPDATE (2/24/2021) — The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says they have Roy Ferrell Barnhill in custody.

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Sheriff’s office is looking for Roy Ferrell Barnhill. The sheriff’s office says Barnhill has warrants for unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle. They say Barnhill has been part of the thefts involving catalytic converters.

“Barnhill has been involved in several. Aside from being a thief, we’re about to sign warrants on him for severely beating and strangling his girlfriend,” said Captain Paul Burch with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office also says Barnhill is the main suspect in the theft of several catalytic converters off of Mobile County Public School System’s buses. MCPSS says eight school buses have had their catalytic converters stolen. They say it costs about $1,800 each to repair or replace them.

MCPSS says they are able to pull in relief buses while the buses are repaired.

“They’re a lot more accessible. There are usually multiple buses in one location, and it’s easier for a criminal to get up under a bus and cut them out. They’re a lot more expensive,” said Burch.

Burch says catalytic converter thefts have become more common. “It’s becoming an epidemic not only locally but nationwide,” said Burch.

The car part is made up of some precious metals, and the sheriff’s office says it can be sold for $300-350.

“The amount of money that’s being paid for them, it’s very lucrative. Not a lot of deterrent to not do it,” said Burch.

If anyone has information as to Barnhill’s whereabouts, please call MCSO 251-574-8633.  Citizens may also report on our website, www.mobileso.com/crimetips/.

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