The University of Delaware Police arrested two men and a woman from Maryland last week in connection with attempts to take catalytic converters from vehicles parked in a UD parking lot.
The three were first spotted looking under vehicles in a University parking lot located in the 300 block of Wyoming Road.
When approached by a UD officer, they claimed to be fixing a mechanical problem on their own vehicle, but closed-circuit television footage indicated they had been underneath other vehicles, including one that showed signs of cut marks to the exhaust in the area of the muffler and catalytic converter.
The three, who have no connection to the university, were taken into custody and found to be in possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia. A search warrant of their vehicle was executed. Power tools and additional drug paraphernalia were seized as evidence.
Charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief, second-degree conspiracy and loitering on college grounds were Derek B. Smith, 36, of Elkton; Kasey C. Sharrow, 31, of Chesapeake City and John T. Boyce, 37, of Elkton. Smith was also charged with possession of burglar’s tools.
All three were arraigned and released on either unsecured bond or their own recognizance.
Law enforcement officials have been reporting a wave of thefts of the potentially valuable components used in exhaust systems. Sometimes the catalytic converter thefts are only detected after the vehicle is driven and problems develop.
A vehicle repair business in northern Delaware this week reported repairing a commercial vehicle that had lost its catalytic converter to theft.
Officers are advising anyone seeing a person or persons working or looking under cars in a parking lot or other public area to call authorities. A telltale sign is the use of power tools that are used for cutting away the systems