Man arrested for breaking-and-entering after allegedly stealing multiple catalytic converters

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man remained incarcerated on a $50,000 cash-only bond Tuesday after allegedly stealing catalytic converters from several vehicles on Morton Avenue.

Corey S. Bender, 29, of Buckhannon, was arrested recently in connection to the thefts, which allegedly occurred over the course of a two-day period April 26-27, 2022. Bender was arrested for breaking-and-entering, a felony.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Trooper First Class F.J. Turansky with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, Turansky responded to Mike Ross, Inc.’s office in reference to a stolen property complaint.

When he arrived, Turansky met with an employee who said Ross has several vehicles parked in a fenced-in area near his place of business. According to the report, someone had cut the fence to enter the area and allegedly removed the catalytic converters from six of the parked vehicles. In addition, the exhaust pipe of a Ford F-150 truck had been sliced but not cut all the way through, according to the police report.

Turansky was also advised that on the following day, someone had also cut the catalytic converter from a Jeep in the lot. According to the file, the damage to various vehicles amounted to $19,158.11. During the investigation, Turansky conducted an interview with a confidential informant and during the interview, the informant said a male subject identified as Bender contacted him and said he had some converters for sale.

According to the report, the informant told police Bender had told him “[the informant] would not get in trouble if he kept his mouth shut.” When the informant met with him, Bender said he went through a fence and cut them, “over on the island.” The informant then allegedly obtained six converters from Bender. A few days later Bender again contacted the information to tell him he had obtained additional catalytic converters. The same informant subsequently agreed to meet Bender at the Centennial Motel to get the converters.

Throughout this investigation, Turansky recovered five of the stolen converters which were returned to Ross.

Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $50,000 cash only and Bender remained incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority.

The potential penalty for breaking and entering is confinement in the state penitentiary for one to 10 years.

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