GALVESTON

Three men were arrested Wednesday and charged with felonies connected to a string of auto-part thefts that occurred in the city earlier this year.

Keith Thomas, 20; Rowland Clark, 21; and David Simoke, 20, all were arrested Wednesday morning and charged with engaging in organized crime, according to the Galveston Police Department. All three men are from Houston, according to the police department.

The men are accused of stealing catalytic convertors from vehicles, police said.

Since last year, police in Galveston and other local departments have dealt with increasing numbers of catalytic convertor thefts. The convertors reduce pollution emitted from gasoline engines and are sought out because they hold rare metals including platinum, palladium and rhodium.

The metals can be removed from the devices and sold for scrap, according to police.

About 4 a.m. Wednesday, police were called to the 4500 block of Woodrow Avenue responding to reports of people stealing a catalytic converter, according to a press release. Witnesses said two of the men were wearing hoodies and traveling in a dark-colored sedan.

Officers stopped a car near the address and found Thomas, Clark and Simoke inside, according to the release. Officers searched the car and found nine catalytic converters inside, they said.

All three men were arrested and taken to the Galveston County Jail, according to the police department. Police said the men were the second group of people arrested in connection to a string of catalytic converter thefts on the island in recent months.

Thomas was no longer listed in custody Thursday afternoon. Clark was in custody and being held on a $40,000 bond. Simoke was in custody on a $30,000 bond.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(3) comments

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

James Lippert

Lock them up. Throw away the key.

Paul Steele

Thanks for the caller.

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