Pittsboro, NC – Authorities recently charged two Stanly County brothers for their role in several catalytic converter thefts spanning across three counties, including Chatham County and Orange County.
Chatham County Sheriff’s Office charged Fuchee Matt Moua, 35, and his brother, 33-year old Fucha Timothy Moua, with seven counts of felony larceny of motor vehicle parts on Monday. The pair are at the center of numerous reports of the stolen catalytic converters around the region dating to this past December. Both men live in Albemarle. Other local agencies will likely take out additional charges in the coming days.
The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office said Stanly County investigators, who made the arrests, worked closely with Orange and Chatham County investigators to pinpoint the suspects and their vehicle. Surveillance footage and a partial registration plate number led to the pair’s identification.
“I am proud of everyone involved for their teamwork and diligence in pursuing this case. Communication across jurisdictional lines is key in achieving a positive resolution for victims, especially in scenarios like these,” said Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson in a release. “Criminals are banking on the idea that agencies will not reach out to each other to share information or offer assistance, but I am happy to report that is not the case in Chatham County.”
Moua and Moua also each face seven counts of injuring property obtaining non-ferrous metals and seven counts of felony conspiracy.
In February, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office alerted residents to 13 reported catalytic converter thefts from around the community. The brothers face 18 counts related to thefts from its jurisdiction.
A catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions from automobile exhaust, using metals such as palladium, rhodium, gold, or platinum as the catalyst. Vehicles that sit high off the ground, such as trucks and SUVs, and hybrid vehicles, such as Toyota Priuses, are frequently the target in these cases. Thieves sell the stolen parts to metal recyclers. Generally, catalytic converters do not have a Vehicle Identification Number stamped on them, making it difficult to trace them back to a specific victim’s vehicle. The recyclers extract the valuable metals, and sell them for a profit.
The Mouas are each initially set to appear in Stanly County court for their charges on Tuesday.