Suspected car parts thief arrested

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Franklin Police have arrested one suspect in connection with the theft of automobile parts and are following leads to identify a second.

According to Capt. Tim Whitt, spokesman for the department, officers patrolling downtown Franklin observed a suspicious vehicle pulling into a business on East Third Avenue at approximately 12:36 a.m. on Tuesday. Upon further investigation, two suspects fled on foot and officers gave chase. The first was apprehended and the second escaped custody.

Officers then returned to the scene where the suspects’ vehicle was still running. Inside the vehicle, they found several catalytic converters believed to have been stolen. A catalytic converter is a component of a car’s exhaust system that converts pollutant gases into less harmful ones.

Another vehicle on the lot showed signs of someone having attempted to saw off its catalytic converter. Officers checked the surrounding area to see if other vehicles may have been damaged by the suspects and one other vehicle was located.

The suspect now in custody is Walter Junior Coe, 46, of Fatetteville, North Carolina. Coe was charged with grand larceny, grand larceny with intent to sell, enter property with the intent to damage property and damaging property belonging to another.

Coe was remanded to the Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond.