Somerset man facing 7 years in prison over catalytic converter thefts

Gregory J. Turpin

A Somerset man involved in a string of catalytic converter thefts dating back to March has pleaded guilty through the Rocket Docket.

Commonwealth's Attorney David Dalton announced that 31-year-old Gregory John Turpin of Somerset pleaded guilty Thursday in Pulaski Circuit Court to two counts of felony theft by unlawful taking and three counts of felony criminal mischief – all related to catalytic converter theft.

On March 16, East End Auto Sales reported that in that week, two vehicles from their lot had catalytic converters stolen from them – resulting in loss and damages over a $1,000 each. The Somerset Police Department investigated that incident.

While the SPD investigation was proceeding, on March 22, Wilbert Vault reported that a catalytic converter had been cut off of a company vehicle resulting in over $1,000 in loss and over $1,000 in damages to the vehicle. The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office identified three individuals involved in the incident – including Turpin.

Turpin was indicted in May by the Pulaski County Grand Jury for the Wilbert Vault incident. The following month, he was indicted for the East End Auto Sales incident. Turpin made bond for both indictments and was released from jail on June 5.

Two days later, on June 7 at 1:08 a.m., Turpin was found underneath of an RTEC van attempting cut off a catalytic converter. He was arrested on the scene and charged with felony criminal mischief. Turpin was not allowed to bond out after this offense, according to Dalton.

Regarding Turpin's plea, Dalton stated he would recommend a total of seven years to serve in prison for the five felony offenses. He added he will oppose probation given Turpin’s string of offenses and his behavior while on bond — namely trying to steal another catalytic converter.

Sentencing was set for August 20.

Dalton thanked the SPD and PCSO for their efforts in this investigation.

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