More arrests made in Athens County catalytic converter thefts

Ohio

Left to right: Robert L. Sheppard, 39, of Athens, Tyler L. Ball, 35, of Nelsonville and Jonathan L Westerviller, 34, of The Plains were arrested in connection with an investigation into stolen catalytic converters at Athens Transmission. (Photos Courtesy: The Athens County Sheriff’s Office)

ATHENS COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – Three more men have been arrested related to an investigation into stolen catalytic converters in Athens County.

Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith says on Sept. 17, three men were allegedly involved in a recent theft of catalytic converters from Athens Transmission that happened Sept. 15.

Robert L. Sheppard, 39, of Athens, and Tyler L. Ball, 35, of Nelsonville were arrested and charged with breaking and entering, theft and possession of criminal tools, all felonies of the fifth degree. Jonathan L Westerviller, 34, of The Plains was arrested and charged with complicity to theft, a felony of the fifth degree, according to the sheriff.

All three were taken to the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail without incident. The investigation is ongoing, and Smith says additional charges are expected.

Smith says the quality of camera footage from Athens Transmission was critical in the investigation, leading to the arrests.

James Howerton, 47 of The Plains was arrested in connection with an investigation into stolen catalytic converters Sept. 16, 2020 (Photo Courtesy: Athens County Sheriff’s Office)

Wednesday, the Athens County Sheriff’s Office announced James Howerton, 47 of The Plains was arrested for theft, breaking and entering, and possession of criminal tools, all felonies in the 5th degree, in connection with a months-long investigation into stolen catalytic converters in Athens County.

Deputies said Howerton was arrested during a search warrant where they also found suspected drug paraphernalia, and additional charges are expected following the lab results.

At the time of Howerton’s arrest, deputies said an additional suspect in the investigation had been identified.

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