Man found under vehicle accused of stealing nine parish bus catalytic converters

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 10:40 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says it has traced the April 24 theft of nine catalytic converters from parish buses to a Lake Charles man who was arrested that same night for a separate catalytic converter theft.

Spokeswoman Kayla Vincent says detectives with the Vehicle Crimes Investigative Unit responded to a business on Prien Lake Rd. on April 17, regarding a catalytic converter theft that had happened several nights prior. Because of multiple catalytic converter thefts being reported from near that business detectives set up surveillance in the area.

On April 24 the Parish transit services suffered an outage as a result of nine catalytic converters being stolen from buses that had been parked at Industrial Ave. in Lake Charles.

That night detectives say they received a motion alert on a security camera at the Prien Lake Rd. business and made their way to the parking lot where they found Travis W. Sellars, 44, under a vehicle attempting to steal a catalytic converter.

Sellars was arrested and initially booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center for trespassing and the theft of a catalytic converter worth under $5,000. Judge Kendrick Guidry set his bond at $10,000.

However, after further investigation, detectives say they found that Sellars was also responsible for another catalytic converter theft from that same business as well as those from the parish buses.

Judge Tony Fazzio signed two additional warrants for the still-jailed Sellars on May 18 for trespassing, unauthorized entry of a place of business, and 10 counts of catalytic converter theft worth under $5,000. His total bond has now been set at $315,500.