Catalytic converter thief targets another church in Nashville

Donny Romines accused of targeting church vehicles
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 8:57 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A man accused of stealing catalytic converters from church buses in now behind bars.

Metro Police said the man was caught on surveillance video from two different churches attempting to steal catalytic converters in broad daylight.

A bus that normally sits in the Charlotte Heights Church of Christ parking lot is now being repaired after a man tried to steal the catalytic converter.

On Friday, that same man also tried to steal a catalytic convert at Madison Church of Christ. Some mechanics said they may know why.

Midas mechanics spent the day repairing their 15th catalytic converter left in the last few weeks, this time working on two church buses.

“They cut the pipe here and they cut the pipe over here,” one mechanic said while showing News4 wat had happened.

Thieves cut through the exhaust pipe of Charlotte Heights’ church bus. In the church’s surveillance video, you can see a man with a bag of tools crawl underneath the bus, and them moments later a church member chases him off.

Police later arrested the man, 44-year-old Donny Romines, for not only attempt to steal Charlotte Height’s converter but also from the Madison church bus days before.

Donny Wayne Romines, age 44.
Donny Wayne Romines, age 44.(MNPD)

News4 asked Midas mechanic Seth Gonzalez why church buses were targeted.

“With churches, they are just cutting the catalytic converters out, and for vans and buses, the converters are a little bit higher up, so they just roll under there, cut it and go,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said church buses are an easy target because thieves can steal their converters quickly.

“They tried to cut them off here and get this off here,” Gonzalez said.

Catalytic converters can bring a high price on the resale market.

“It can go as low as maybe $200 to as high as $1,500-$2,000, it just depends on what the price of the material that’s inside the catalytic converter is,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said a lot of these buses have higher priced materials.

“They can determine which vehicles they’re going to hit more because that one is going for more based on the precious metal that’s inside the catalytic converter,” Gonzalez said.

Mechanics are telling churches to lock up their buses.

“Get an overhang or big gate so they can park their buses and make it a bit harder for thieves,” Gonzalez said.

Romines was also charged with threatening the church worker with an electric saw.

Police are now warning people about chasing after thieves.

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