The Prestonsburg Police Department reported this week that officers arrested two David residents accused of stealing catalytic converters from vehicles parked at several businesses and churches.

The department reported that arrest warrants were issued for Carlos Hoover, 32, of David, and Clayton Shepherd, also of David, in cases related to the theft of catalytic converters in Prestonsburg.

“They continued hitting churches, pulling in under the cover of darkness, doing hundreds of dollars in damage to their vans and buses and fleeing the scene usually in less than a minute. They left little clues each time,” Prestonsburg Police reported on social media. “With the assistance of the Kentucky State Police Auto Theft Branch and Kentucky State Police Post 09’s Criminal Intelligence Analyst, we put the pieces together and determined that Carlos and Clayton of David were driving Carlos’ truck to various businesses and cutting the converters off and fleeing the scene in only seconds.”

The department referred to these arrests as a “collaborative effort” to “preserve our businesses and residents’ property.”

The charges against Shepherd had not been filed in the Floyd County Clerk’s office as of print deadline. Hoover was charged with theft, two counts of third-degree criminal trespassing, two counts of second-degree criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools in two cases in which he is accused of stealing the catalytic converter for a van at the Allen Baptist Church on Dec. 2 and another church on Jan. 2. Hoover possessed bolt cutters, reciprocating saw and tin snips when he was arrested, the department reported.

Hoover denied the allegations, entering a not guilty plea in Floyd District Court on Tuesday. District Judge Jimmy R. Marcum ordered him to have no contact with the churches that he allegedly burglarized and scheduled preliminary hearings in both cases to be held on Jan. 15.

“Our number one priority is the safety and service of our residents, those who visit and their property,” the police department said in the statement. “We are constantly working to keep Prestonsburg a great place to work and live.”

The department encourages residents to provide information by calling, (606) 886-1010. Callers may remain anonymous.

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