Campus News

UK Police Make Arrest in Catalytic Converter Thefts

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 21, 2022) – UK Police (UKPD) have arrested a primary suspect in a string of catalytic converter thefts from university parking lots. On Thursday, Feb. 10, UKPD detectives caught and subsequently arrested John E. Sampson, 33, of Lexington, for multiple counts of Theft of Vehicle Parts Over $1,000, Criminal Mischief Second Degree (for damaging exhaust systems) and Criminal Trespassing Third Degree. Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues. These thefts occurred in the Scott Street Employee Parking Lot, but Sampson is suspected in multiple other cases that occurred in Kroger Field lots, medical center employee lots and several other parking areas on campus over the past six months.

If you have had your catalytic converter stolen and have not yet reported it to the police, and it occurred on university property, please contact UKPD at (859) 257-1616. A catalytic converter is a part in a vehicle’s exhaust system that converts the emissions of a vehicle’s engine. If your catalytic converter has been stolen, you will first notice a very loud noise coming from your exhaust system. Replacing a catalytic converter on your vehicle is expensive and may or not be covered by your auto insurance.

UKPD has recognized an increase in the theft of catalytic converters on campus and has responded by significantly increasing patrols and the number of cameras in campus parking lots and garages. If you notice something or someone acting suspicious in our parking lots or garages, please call UKPD with as much detail as possible.