Plea Deal For ‘Prolific’ Rochester Area Catalytic Converter Thief
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Dodge Center man, described by law enforcement officials as a prolific catalytic converter thief, today entered into a plea agreement just a week before he was scheduled to stand trial for a second time on charges stemming from the theft of multiple catalytic converters from a Rochester business in 2021.
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38-year-old Shawn Clement was brought to trial a year ago on a list of charges connected to the theft of the vehicle emission devices from a business located near the Rochester Airport. The judge presiding over the case ended up declaring a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Clement today admitted to a felony count of receiving stolen property in exchange for the dismissal of a felony theft charge and a felony count of criminal damage to property. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
At the time of his arrest, local authorities described Clement as the suspect for a large portion of the catalytic converter thefts that had been taking place in the Rochester area. At the time of his first trial on the charges last year, Clement had already been convicted of charges connected to the thefts of nearly a dozen catalytic converters from Camping World and Hilltop Trailer Sales in Oronoco. He was given a 23-month prison sentence in that case and was released on parole last October.
Clement was previously convicted of charges stemming from the attempted theft of lumber from a storage building in Rock Dell Township that resulted in a sentence of probation. In addition to the local theft cases, the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office earlier indicated the investigation into his activities uncovered evidence linking Clement to dozens of catalytic converter thefts across southeastern Minnesota, Iowa, and the Twin Cities area.
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Gallery Credit: Emily