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2 accused in catalytic converter theft

NILES — Niles police stopped a parking lot heist in its tracks Saturday.

Police got a call stating two men were in the Penn Care parking lot on North Road around 4 p.m. taking a catalytic converter from one of the vehicles.

The men later were identified as Robert Edward Cherry, 46, of Cleveland, and David Zadai, 34, of Vienna. Both are in the Trumbull County jail facing charges of theft and breaking and entering.

Municipal court records show both were arraigned Monday and bond was set at $100,000 each. Their preliminary hearings will be Dec. 13.

Catalytic converters contain metals such as platinum and rhodium. They are worth between $1,000 to $2,500, according to AutoZone’s website.

Police arrived shortly after the call. Once the officers had them in sight, the men attempted to run and jump the fence near the service road behind Vernon’s Primetime on Youngstown Warren Road, a police report states. After a short chase, Zadai stopped running and was advised by the officer to get on the ground. Cherry was apprehended shortly after.

As Zadai was taken into custody, he mentioned to the officer he was going to overdose, and was taken to Trumbull Regional Medical Center for treatment, with a police escort.

The catalyctic converter parts were recovered in the field behind Penn Care, along with tools.

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