As we reported earlier this week, despite new laws aimed at tightening restrictions for recycling catalytic converters in scrap and wrecking yards, the thefts continue.

  Couple caught red-handed by police

Thefts have not dropped as expected when new laws went into effect last July. Scrap and wrecking yards have to log all such recycling transactions, and payment for converters has to be done with a check (traceable) instead of cash.

But they continue. Around midnight Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, Moses Lake Police officers on patrol on Valley Road saw a suspicious pair of people underneath a car.

After contacting them, they realized they were trying to cut a catalytic converter off a vehicle. The female suspect, identified as 33-year-old Raisa Sorlien, fled on foot and left her tools behind. She was quickly run down and caught. The man, identified as 32-year-old Brian Smith, got a little further before he was caught "by faster officers" according to MLPD.

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Sorlien was released after being administratively booked, with charges to follow. Smith was booked on charges of theft 2nd degree, malicious mischief 2nd degree, and resisting arrest.

This is the third such suspect or suspects MLPD has caught in just the last five days related to converter theft.

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