Sheriff: Catalytic converter thief captured, another sought following foot chase

VIDEO: Sheriff: Catalytic converter thief captured, another sought following foot chase

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Deputies have arrested one man accused of stealing catalytic converters and are looking for another following a foot chase in Orangeburg County.

The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office arrested 50-year-old Jerry Black of Orangeburg. Authorities are looking for 39-year-old Michael Kemmerlin who has addresses in Rowesville and Cope.

“This began with what would have been a simple traffic stop,” Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. “But it wound up to be a vehicle pursuit, then a foot chase resulting in one arrest and the identity of another.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Highway Patrol troopers attempted to make a stop on a Ford Ranger which turned off North Road and onto Hampton Street.

“At that point, two suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot,” OCSO officials said. “Black was captured moments later.”

A report states that in the suspects’ vehicle investigators found multiple catalytic converters, an electric saw, blades and other tools that can be used to “steal converters which can range in value from $200 to $1,000 each.”

“The cost to repair vehicles damaged in this manner is estimated to start around $1,000,” OCSO official said. “Warrants have been obtained against Kemmerlin for the same charges as Black.”

Those charges come from at least three different incidents in which one or more converter was taken from locations around the county, according to the sheriff’s office.

If anyone has any information on Kemmerlin’s location, they are asked to contact the OCSO at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

“Callers using Crimestoppers are encouraged to utilize the P3 Tips app or submit a web tip by going to CrimeSC.com and click ‘Submit a Tip,’” the sheriff’s office said.

Black is facing 18 charges, including five counts of injury to property to obtain non-ferrous metals, four counts of transporting or possession of stolen non-ferrous metals, three counts of tools capable of committing a crime, three counts of criminal conspiracy, two counts of petit larceny and one count of breaking into a motor vehicle.

Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office officials with the seized evidence.
Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office officials with the seized evidence. (Source: OCSO)

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