LIME CITY — A search warrant executed Friday morning, in relation to suspected catalytic converter thefts, revealed what is alleged to be thousands of dollars worth of goods stolen by a man arrested in Perrysburg Township on Jan. 18.
“Today was a continuation of an investigation that started in Wood County, which spilled over into Lucas County, which identified Michael Artall as a suspect in many thefts in the area,” Det. Chris Klewer said.
Perrysburg Township police assisted the Toledo Police Department with a search warrant of Artall’s house that turned up goods identified as allegedly stolen items, Klewer said.
“There was a large quantity of suspected stolen merchandise recovered from the residence,” Klewer said. “There was an assortment of items recovered by Toledo: electronics, tools, home goods. I would say that it well exceeds tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise.”
Artall, 48, Toledo, was sentenced Thursday to 60 days at the Wood County jail after pleading guilty in Perrysburg Municipal Court to a reduced charge of receiving stolen property, brought by Perrysburg Township, and a first-degree misdemeanor theft brought by Rossford, Klewer said.
The initial charge from Perrysburg Township was related to a stolen credit card in Artall’s possession. The theft charge from Rossford was for receiving an estimated $1,000 in flooring stolen from the Home Depot on U.S. 20.
“Everything he bought was consistent with catalytic converter theft,” Perrysburg Township Dep. Chief Matt Gazarek said. “We were watching him and then he left to commit another theft in Rossford. When we stopped him, he had a fresh-cut catalytic converter on the floorboard. Then, later on, we were able to obtain GPS location from the ankle monitor that he cut off, he was behind a couple businesses in the township where we’ve had some catalytic converter thefts.”
Artall had been under monitoring from Lucas County earlier in the day on Jan. 18.
“At some point he had cut his ankle monitor off. Coincidentally, that is the same day that we intercepted him on U.S. 20,” Klewer said.
Artall also has several unrelated previous felony warrants through Lucas County.
“The problem with catalytic converter thefts is that there are so many people doing it,” Gazarek said. “He’s not new to burglary. He’s not new to stealing from the retail stores, so I would assume he’s not new to the catalytic converter thefts.
“On that traffic stop, he had in his possession a credit card that came back to a burglary just last month,” Gazarek said.
With the traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of Artall, Gazarek listed off what Perrysburg Township police found as “the stolen credit card, the stolen catalytic converter and stolen merchandise from Lowe’s and Home Depot. He didn’t have these when we arrested him, but the deputy just issued six felony warrants, because he cut off his GPS monitor and ran out of the court. … He left the court and came straight down here to do the retail theft.”
The arrest of Artall on Jan. 18 was a joint operation between Rossford and Perrysburg Township.
Charges from TPD related to the search warrant are pending, because of the ongoing investigation.
“It’s important to note that Perrysburg Township has an excellent working relationship with our surrounding agencies, not just with Wood County, but with Lucas County, which enables us to execute and prosecute these criminal investigations, which span across Wood and Lucas counties and into neighboring Henry and Hancock counties,” Klewer said.