Police arrest employee for allegedly stealing catalytic converter from tow company lot

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon man was arrested Thursday for allegedly attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a vehicle on his employer’s tow lot.

Justin Knicely, 25, of Buckhannon was arrested for grand larceny.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office, on Thursday, Aug. 4, the owner of A+S Towing called the Upshur County 911 Center and reported an employee, Knicely, was allegedly in the process of stealing a catalytic converter off one of the vehicles, a Jeep Liberty parked at the company lot.

“The defendant was found by officers by the wrecked vehicle,” Sgt. Theron Caynor with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office wrote in the complaint. “A reciprocating saw was in the front of his vehicle and the converter was in the side toolbox of the truck. The owner stated he did not have permission to cut any parts off of the vehicles there.”

Knicely told deputies that the office manager had told him to remove the catalytic converter and bring it to him, which the manager denied, according to the complaint. In a video statement, another employee told officers that Knicely said he was going to cut a converter off for gas money.

The replacement value of the catalytic converter was $4,755, the file notes.

Bail was set at $15,000 cash or surety by Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder.

The potential penalty for grand larceny is confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for not more than one year and a fine of not more than $2,500.

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