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Theft Investigation of Catalytic Converters / 3400 Crescent Ave.

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For Immediate Release: November 15, 2011

City of Fort Wayne Police Department



Rash of Catalytic Converter Thefts Prompts Specialty Unit to Increase Surveillance, Investigation Leads to the Arrest of Two Suspects

Date/Time of Incident:          November 14, 2011 / 4:28 a.m.

Location:                                3400 Crescent Avenue, Parking Lot


In response to a spike in reported thefts of catalytic converters, the City of Fort Wayne Police Department’s Neighborhood Response Team increased surveillance on a suspected catalytic converter thief and on Monday, November 14, 2011, made two arrests in an associated theft investigation.

Early Monday morning, at approximately 4:28 am, while conducting surveillance on a suspected catalytic converter thief, officers with the Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) observed said subject and an accomplice possibly casing the parking lot of a church in the 3400 block of Crescent Avenue.  The two suspects fled the area in a teal-colored Blazer.  The officer observed that at least two catalytic converters had been removed from vehicles on that lot.  A second NRT officer initiated a traffic stop on the Blazer at Coliseum Blvd. and Hobson Rd., but the vehicle failed to stop and a high-speed pursuit ensued southbound on Hobson Rd., and through State St. to Lake Ave.  Less than two minutes into the pursuit the suspect vehicle crashed into the gated-entrance of a sewage treatment site at 900 White Oak Ave.  Both the driver and the passenger fled the vehicle and the area on foot.  Inside the vehicle, and in the rear seat, two catalytic converters were found in addition to a cordless reciprocating saw found at the floor of the driver’s door.

Responding officers held a perimeter and soon after they observed the two suspects in a nearby golf range in the area of 700 N. Coliseum Blvd.  One suspect was found hiding behind a tree and fled again on foot when the officer shined his flashlight upon him.  The officer gave chase and this suspect was tased during the apprehension.  The second suspect was apprehended in a nearby lot on N. Coliseum Blvd; he was ‘soaking wet’ and reportedly had jumped into a drainage ditch or pool when he fled the scene of the crash.

Arrested:        Travis E. Smith, age 26, Fort Wayne

Charges:        Theft (two counts), Resisting Law Enforcement-Fleeing, and Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Crash

James I. Allen, Jr., age 34, Fort Wayne


This incident remains under investigation with the City of Fort Wayne Police Department, and the Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

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