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Scrapyard workers accused of buying stolen catalytic converters

Keywords: Tags  scrapyard, Redhot Recycling, Sejong, Kia Motors, Anthony Keith Cumbee, Larry Amerson, catalytic converters, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — An Alabama scrapyard employee has been accused of purchasing more than 1,000 stolen catalytic converters from a single seller.

Anthony Keith Cumbee, an employee at Anniston, Ala.-based Redhot Recycling LLC, has been charged with failing to document ownership of the parts as required by Alabama law, Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said.

Calhoun County law enforcement officials became involved after receiving a tip from authorities in LaGrange, Ga., nearly two hours away, Amerson said. The LaGrange police had received a report that 600 catalytic converters were stolen from Sejong Georgia LLC, which supplies auto parts to Seoul, South Korea-based Kia Motors Corp.

Redhot’s records show that Cumbee bought more than 1,000 of the parts, paying an unnamed seller $50,000, Amerson said.

It is unclear what the loss cost LaGrange-based Sejong, but the company indicated that the 600 catalytic converters it knew to be missing were worth $250,000.

None of the catalytic converters could be recovered, as the scrapyard immediately resold them to a larger metals recycler, Amerson said. More arrests are expected.

Cumbee, who couldn’t be reached, posted $100,000 bond and is facing a preliminary hearing. Redhot didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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