Two men who Carrollton police say were trying to take a catalytic converter from a downtown church van in broad daylight were arrested Wednesday.
Daniel Reeves Perry, 28, and Jarrett William Hilton, 32, both of Temple were charged with criminal attempt felony theft by taking, aggravated assault, criminal trespass, and possession of tools for the commission of certain crimes, according to a police report.
At approximately 10 a.m., Carrollton officers went to City Hall Avenue after getting a report of a possible robbery in progress.
When officers arrived, they spoke with the caller, who said he saw two men trying to remove a catalytic converter from a church van belonging to Carrollton First United Methodist Church.
The witness told officers that when he confronted the men, an altercation started as the witness attempted to keep the men from leaving the area.
According to police, the men then got into a vehicle, hit another vehicle as they fled, and continued down the street while dragging the witness who was able to escaped uninjured.
The Carrollton Police Department utilized its high-tech Flock Safety Automated License Plate Reading cameras to track down a car that was driven by Perry and Hilton.
Another witness was also able to provide a partial tag number of the suspect vehicle. That information, combined with the vehicle description, was entered into the Flock camera system and the suspect vehicle was identified.
Within 30 minutes of the initial 911 call, investigators were able to locate the a suspect vehicle at a residence in Temple.
A search warrant executed at the residence led to the discovery of several catalytic converters, cutting tools, and other evidence police say connecting the men to the incident.
Both Perry and Hilton were transported to the Carroll County jail. As of Thursday, Perry and Hilton were still in jail and their has not been set.
Police say the crimes could possibly be a connected to a ring of such car thefts occurring in the region.
In March of this year, two west Georgia men were also arrested for attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a vehicle that was broken down on the side of Interstate 20.
According to the arrest warrant, this incident also happened in broad daylight.
Additionally in March, two Villa Rica men were accused of attempting to steal catalytic converters from vehicles at two Villa Rica locations.