HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An 18-year-old accused of stealing catalytic converters was arrested after a police chase from northwest Houston to Baytown.
Police were called to an apartment complex at 3233 Mangum Rd. in response to the suspect trying to steal catalytic converters around 4:45 a.m. Monday.
At the scene, witnesses directed officers to where the suspect was. When the 18-year-old saw police, he jumped into his car and took off, sparking a pursuit.
The chase stretched across the city, but ended when officers used spike strips to stop the suspect vehicle on the East Freeway at SH-146 around 5:30 a.m.
Harris County sheriff's deputies worked with HPD to deploy the spike strips and stop the suspect, police said.
Inside his vehicle, officers found three catalytic converters. Police said during the pursuit, the suspect threw the saw he used to steal them out of the window.
"I don't know when they were taken, but they were obviously cut off the vehicle in the same manner he was attempting his theft on Mangum," Lt. J.P. Horelica said. "During the pursuit, at one point, he did throw out his saw that he was using to cut the catalytic converters off the vehicles."
Police said the suspect maintained regular traffic speeds throughout the chase.
It is unclear what charges the suspect may face.
RELATED: Catalytic converter ordinance in effect after rise of thefts in Houston
Over the weekend, a new ordinance to crack down on catalytic converter thefts and resale went into effect across Houston.
People will now need to show proof of owning a cut catalytic converter when they go to sell it to a metal recycler.
Rules for automotive repair facility selling the catalytic converter:
- Person selling the catalytic converter must show the receipt from the repair facility (name of business, address of the business, phone number of business, year, make, model and vehicle identification number
- Metal recycler must verify the repair facility is an actual business
- A seller with a valid used automotive parts recycler license issued by TDLR can sell catalytic converters to a metal recycler without a verifiable receipt from a repair facility
Rules for individual sellers:
- Must show the year, make, model and vehicle identification number from the vehicle the catalytic converter was removed from
- Must show a copy of the certificate of title or other ownership documentation for the vehicle the catalytic converter was removed from
Metal recycler purchasing requirements:
- Must photograph all sides of the device, get the serial number and VIN
- Required to keep and upload all information and photos to the police department's online investigation system
If someone doesn't show proof that they own the cut device, it could result in a misdemeanor charge for each catalytic converter.