Man Accused of Stealing 26 Catalytic Converters From Toledo Business 

Catalytic Converters Recovered During Washington State Patrol Arrest in Cowlitz County 


Law enforcement officials have referred theft and burglary charges against a Portland man accused of stealing 26 catalytic converters from a Toledo business last week, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday. 

The suspect, who the sheriff’s office identified Tuesday as 38-year-old Jesse Vaidabid Jr., is accused of cutting the catalytic converters off of 26 new trucks in the early morning on July 13. 

A trooper with the Washington State Patrol arrested Vaidabid shortly before 8 a.m. on July 13 after law enforcement officials reportedly found him cutting a catalytic converter off of a vehicle in Cowlitz County, according to the sheriff’s office. 

The investigating deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office had contacted the Washington State Patrol after they reviewed surveillance footage from the Toledo business that reportedly showed a state patrol vehicle in the background as Vaidabid left through the fence line with the catalytic converters in a garbage can, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. 

The investigating deputy responded to Cowlitz County as a trooper was completing a search warrant on the vehicle and was able to recover the 26 catalytic converters, as well as “the unique garbage can used to remove them from the business,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office has referred Vaidabid to the prosecutor’s office on charges of second-degree burglary and first-degree theft for the alleged crimes occurring within Lewis County.

The prosecutor’s office will review the referred charges before the prosecutor decides whether to formally charge Vaidabid. 

“This is an excellent example of local law enforcement entities working hand-in-hand to put the pieces together,” Sheriff Robert Snaza said in a prepared statement. “Especially when we can make an impact in this rising crime trend.”