Here's the full story on the catalytic converter theft in Sunrise Beach

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
Police crime scene tape

Donald Donell of Versailles has been charged with First Degree Property Damage with additional charges pending, bond was denied. Donell is also being held on a no bond Probation and Parole warrant.

According to the Camden County PC statement, Sunrise Beach Police Chief Campbell received a call from dispatch that someone had witnessed a male stealing catalytic converters from Laurie Motors II. Dispatch informed Campbell that a small, white hatchback had left northbound from the location. A man with a brown coat was driving.

Campbell drove south towards Laurie Motors II and passed a similar vehicle with a man in a brown coat inside. Campbell stopped ahead, exited his vehicle, approached the man and asked him to keep his hands where he could see them. The car was a white 2018 Ford Fiesta. 

After obtaining his ID, he was identified as Donald W. Donell. Deputy Greg Wencker then arrived on the scene to assist.

Campbell looked through the rear window and spotted a catalytic converter on the floor and a battery-operated reciprocating saw on the back seat with other visible tools. 

After questioning Donell about what he saw, Donell said he was changing the tire of the truck and the converter was just sitting there among other junk, so he took it. When asked about the saw, he said it did not work. Dispatch then informed the officers that Donell has probation and parole no bond warrant. His driver's license was also suspended. Later investigation of driving history also showed that Donnell had two previous convictions for driving while suspended and one conviction for no operator's license.  

Donell was cuffed and placed in the patrol vehicle. Campbell grabbed the converter and saw out of the back seat and tested the tool, stating that the saw worked perfectly. Among the other tools in the car, Campbell found saw blades, a battery charger, a pipe cutter and a butane gas bottle.

Campbell returned to Donell and questioned him again about the converter. He said he took it because he was "homeless and hungry". Donell was transported to Camden County jail. 

Returning to Laurie Motors II, Campbell spotted the truck and found fresh saw blade marks on the exhaust pipe. Identical cut marks were on the converter. Later in the day, Campbell reached out to the owner of Laurie Motors II to ask what the value of this converter would be to replace. He indicated that it would cost around $1100-$1200.