Cops: Oregon crime ring moved $22 million in catalytic converters

Police in suburban Portland, Oregon, said Thursday they arrested a crime ring leader responsible for trafficking more than 44,000 stolen catalytic converters from vehicles on the West Coast since 2021.

Detectives said they identified Brennan Doyle, 32, as the leader of the operation and searched his Lake Oswego home last week, along with seven other properties. Detectives seized more than 3,000 catalytic converters worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, a high-end car and jewelry, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Doyle and his associates are charged with stealing catalytic converters from vehicles along the West Coast, Beaverton police spokesman Matt Henderson said. The criminal network was centered around Portland but spanned several counties in Oregon as well as Washington state, Nevada, California, Texas and New York, he said.

The metals inside catalytic converters can sell for thousands of dollars an ounce. The market value of the stolen and trafficked coins has been estimated at over $22 million.

The criminal network shipped converter boxes to the East Coast and overseas, Henderson said. Dozens or even hundreds of people may have been involved in the operation, he added, but declined to share further details as the investigation is ongoing.

Doyle was charged with 72 different counts, including racketeering, aggravated robbery and money laundering. Police say one of his associates, Tanner Hellbusch of Beaverton, was caught with more than 100 catalytic converters in March. He was charged with 20 similar counts. It was not immediately known whether they had attorneys to comment on the case.

At least 12 other people face charges in connection with the operation, police said.

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