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Two women were taken to jail today after getting caught allegedly stealing catalytic converters from disabled vehicles along Indianapolis area interstates.

At 6:37 a.m. Indiana State Police Dispatchers received information from INDOT‘s Traffic Management Dispatchers, who were monitoring traffic cameras, about suspicious activity around a vehicle on the shoulder of I-70 westbound near the 78.7-mile marker.

Trooper Brandon Alberts responded to the call and when he arrived he found two vehicles on the side of the road.

When Alberts questioned the two women present with the vehicles he determined they were together in one of the vehicles and one vehicle had been abandoned by someone unknown to the women.

Subsequently Master Trooper Justin Hobbs, who arrived on scene to assist, observed two catalytic converters in the back of a Jeep Commander that the two women were occupying. Alberts also found a reciprocating saw on the ground on the passenger side of the abandoned vehicle. The investigation led to both women being taken into custody and arrested for theft. Troopers located two other vehicles in close proximity that had been abandoned along I-70, both of those vehicles had the catalytic converter cut off. Troopers were able to match the two catalytic converters that were located in the back seat of the Jeep to the two other abandoned vehicles. 

27 year old Elizabeth Smith of Indianapolis and 28 year old Farrah Carpenter of Indianapolis were both arrested and preliminarily charged with Theft, a level 5 felony (Valuable Metal – 3 counts, 1 attempted), and Criminal Mischief, a B misdemeanor (3 counts, 1 attempted)

The theft of catalytic converters from abandoned vehicles along central Indiana interstates is not uncommon. We would like to remind motorists to only leave your vehicle abandoned if absolutely necessary and return to get it as soon as possible.

Motorists are encouraged to report suspicious activity around disabled for abandoned vehicles to police.

Rarely do roadside repairs involve the use of any type of saw, if you see someone with a saw approaching a disabled or abandoned vehicle please get a description of the person or vehicle they are driving and report it to police.

All crimes mentioned in this release are alleged and all suspects are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

The charges listed are merely accusations and probable cause for arrest, actual charges will be determined by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office upon review of the case.