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An Elizabethtown man left three school vans inoperable after stealing parts from the vehicles worth thousands of dollars, according to West Hempfield Township Police.

Zachary Ryan Martin, 31, was charged with theft, criminal mischief and trespassing Monday after severing catalytic converters, devices used to control a vehicle’s exhaust emissions, valued at a combined $4,500 from three student transport vans the night of Sept. 7, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The vans, which had been parked in a lot belonging to Student Transportation of America on 3871 Old Harrisburg Pike, were left inoperable, police said.

Investigators later identified Martin’s gold Toyota Tacoma in a separate theft of catalytic converters later that month, according to the affidavit. Witnesses to a third theft in October saw the same vehicle leaving the area.

Police spotted the vehicle in late October and pulled him over, arresting Martin on unrelated charges, according to the affidavit.

Martin confessed to stealing the converters in a subsequent interview with investigators, police said.

Martin is awaiting a date for a preliminary hearing, according to court documents. He is free on $20,000 unsecured bail.

Attempts to reach Martin's attorney were not immediately successful.


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