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After getting caught by car's owner, 3 men arrested in connection to catalytic converter theft

The Bloomington Police Department said in a press release that the city had 332 catalytic converter thefts reported in 2021 and 403 already this year.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Three men were arrested Monday afternoon after police say they led officers on a car chase following an attempted catalytic converter theft in Bloomington.

According to the Bloomington Police Department, a man reported an interrupted theft of a catalytic converter from his car just before 2 p.m. Monday on the 102000 block of Nicollet Avenue. The caller reported seeing a car parked close to his own and a pair of feet sticking out from under his car. Police say he suspected they were stealing his catalytic converter so he started yelling at the men, who then jumped into the nearby car and sped off.

The caller reported the vehicle's description and license plate to 911 dispatchers, police say, and officers knew of a similar car that was reported in other Bloomington catalytic converter thefts. Bloomington police say responding officers on Old Shakopee Road saw the suspected vehicle and turned around. The car then sped up eastbound on Old Shakopee Road before turning onto Highway 77.

With lights and sirens on, officers continued chasing the car, which soon left the highway for I-494 westbound, according to police. There, officers attempted the PIT maneuver to stop the fleeing car but the first try didn't work. On the second try, the car finally came to a stop but the three men inside it ran away once it did.

Bloomington police say the driver, a 34-year-old man, was caught by officers after a brief chase. A 27-year-old front passenger tried to run away from officers and climbed a fence. Officers say they tased him but he continued to run from officers. Police say he resisted arrest but he was taken into custody. The third man, a 40-year-old, ran across I-494 and was found by the Great Wolf Lodge.

Inside the car, police say officers found three catalytic converters, a car jack, tools and power tools.

All three men are facing several charges, including felony theft, fleeing police, receiving stolen property and possession of a detached catalytic converter, according to Bloomington police.

The Bloomington Police Department said in a press release that the city had 332 catalytic converter thefts reported in 2021 and 403 already this year.

"We've been getting killed with catalytic converter thefts," said Bloomington Police Department Chief Booker Hodges. 

Hodges said that while general crime in Bloomington has been going down, the department sees a problem area with converter thefts. 

"Make no mistake, our officers will do their job and you break the law here," said Hodges. "We will lock you up these catalytic converter crooks don't come to Bloomington."

Bloomington police are currently partnered with Bobby & Steve's Auto World. The shop provides a free service to mark catalytic converters so police can help track down thieves. 

"These thieves are getting them very quickly and efficiently, which is too bad," said Scott Finn, an operations leader with the shop. 

For more information, visit Bloomington police's website

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