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Park City Police assist in case of man charged with selling stolen catalytic converters

A stockpile of the seized catalytic converters.
Utah Attorney General's Office
A stockpile of the seized catalytic converters.

Omar Martinez sold over 3,500 catalytic converters for more than $900,000.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office has charged a man with theft and money laundering after he was found to have sold thousands of catalytic converters for nearly a million dollars.

47-year-old Omar Martinez used his own businesses, Del Sol Auto Recycling and El Sol Auto Sales, as a front for selling stolen catalytic converters, according to the attorney general’s office.

Their investigation found that Martinez sold over 3,500 converters for more than $900,000. Charges indicate that he mixed legitimate converter sales and did most of his business in cash and without receipts.

The attorney general’s office worked in conjunction with several police departments, including Park City’s and South Salt Lake’s. Taylorsville Police arrested Martinez this week thanks to Park City PD sharing the suspect's license plate.

Martinez faces three second-degree felonies: theft by receiving stolen property, money laundering, and a pattern of unlawful activity.

A catalytic converter is an emission control device required by the Environmental Protection Agency. It converts the toxic gasses and pollutants found in the gas exhaust into less harmful pollutants. Precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium are used in the devices, and the resale price can be very high depending on the metals marketplace.

They only take a few minutes to steal, and thefts have been prevalent in the greater Park City area in recent years.

In an effort to protect residents, the Unified Police Department has partnered with 79 Jiffy Lube locations across Utah to offer a catalytic converter engraving and stripe service. It is free of charge and only takes about 5 minutes.