HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Authorities have filed nearly three dozen charges against an Alamance County man accused of stealing catalytic converters from cars.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that Robert Helmick, 40, was being held at the county detention center on a $10,000 secured bond.
Among the 35 charges he faces:
- 15 counts of felony larceny of motor vehicle parts.
- 15 counts of felony injury to property to obtain nonferrous metals.
- Two counts of misdemeanor first-degree trespassing.
- One count of felony breaking and entering.
- One count of felony breaking and entering a motor vehicle.
- One count of misdemeanor larceny.
Deputies say on consecutive days last week they responded to reports of someone stealing catalytic converters from cars at a towing service and body shop in Efland.
A search by a canine team led deputies to a nearby shed, where deputies say they found Helmick in possession of several catalytic converters and cutting tools and with metal shavings in his face and clothing.
Deputies say Helmick confessed to the cutting and removal of multiple converters during two evenings.
Catalytic converters are attractive to thieves because they contain the precious metals platinum, palladium and rhodium. The National Insurance Crime Bureau says North Carolina ranks as one of the five states with the most thefts of those converters.