Weld deputies recover stolen catalytic converters, arrest Laramie man

Published on April 01, 2022

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A Laramie, Wyo. man is in the Weld County Jail following an investigation by Weld County Sheriff’s Office deputies that led to the recovery of a trunk load of stolen catalytic converters.

Austin Lee Brumfield, 29, was booked Tuesday into the jail on charges of false reporting to authorities, theft and two counts of first-degree criminal trespass, all felonies. Brumfield remained in the jail as of Friday afternoon on $1,500 bond.

The charges stem from 9 a.m. Tuesday, when deputies responded to a report of theft of two catalytic converters from an RV dealer outside of Longmont. Business owners provided deputies with security camera footage of the incident, which showed a gray Nissan sedan with distinctive damage to the rear passenger door as a possible suspect vehicle.

Deputies remembered passing a similar vehicle parked at a nearby motel on their way to the scene. They circled back and found it still parked in the motel parking lot.

Deputies spoke with a woman who was in the backseat. She said the car belonged to a man named, Austin, who was staying in one of the rooms of the motel. Inside the vehicle in plain view were license plates, bolt cutters and Sawzall blades.

But the woman said she only met Austin two days earlier and didn’t know his last name or phone number. She returned to the motel, entering an unknown room.

Deputies conducted a business canvas of the immediate area to see if the vehicle was involved in any other criminal activity the night before. A short time later, deputies saw the woman leave the motel with a man and walk down the street.

Deputies stopped the couple to speak with them. Brumfield initially provided deputies with a fake name, Jack Nickelsen, and a fake date of birth. He eventually admitted who he was, saying he lied because he had an active warrant for breaking and entering out of Wyoming. Turns out, however, Brumfield didn’t have any active warrants out of his home state.

The value of the stolen catalytic converters was estimated at $5,600, including the cost of labor to repair the two RVs. A search warrant was obtained for the Nissan, resulting in the discovery of several more catalytic converters in the trunk that had been stolen from jurisdictions throughout northern Colorado.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.NoCoCrimeStoppers.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward.