Investigation leads to arrest of 2 Piqua men

SIDNEY —The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office received several reports of stolen catalytic converters from vehicles at businesses in Fort Loramie, Newport and Houston areas in Shelby County over the past week.

According to Shelby County Sheriff Jim Frye, an investigation into these thefts reveled some video surveillance that captured a 2004 Blue Chevy Trailblazer at several of the locations where the theft of the catalytic converters occurred. During the investigation, a Home Depot sales receipt was recovered at one of the scenes. The receipt was for saw blades, which led investigators to check video at the store where they were able to identity Gage Maxon and Brooks Smith.

With the evidence acquired from the investigation, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office detectives were able to acquire a search warrant for 625 Adams St., Piqua, Ohio.

With the assistance of the Piqua Police a search warrant was conducted at 625 Adams St., Piqua. While conducting the search warrant, law enforcement recovered multiple catalytic converters, battery operated saws, saw blades, cut mufflers and cut pipes, which is consistent with the tools used to commit these thefts.

Also located on the property was a 2004 Blue Chevy Trail Blazer, which is owned by Deryan Maxon, 26, of Piqua, Ohio, Deryan is the girlfriend of Smith and is not a suspect at this time. The vehicle matched the vehicle seen in the surveillance video from Home Depot. Law enforcement located several catalytic converters within the vehicle. The vehicle was seized and towed to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office impound yard. These converters are possibly from the Minster area where recent reports made on Sept. 14, 2022.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work with the Fort Loramie Police and Minister Police Department’s on this ongoing criminal case.

Brooks Smith 26, of Piqua, Ohio, was arrested and is incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail on one count of felony vandalism. Gage Maxon 28, of Piqua, Ohio, is also incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail on an unrelated criminal charge.

The case is still under investigation and additional criminal charges are pending.

“These thefts cause great distress to the victims and therefore we are happy to put this team of criminals behind bars. If anyone has experienced a theft of this nature and have not reported it, please do so by calling the Sheriff’s Office or your local police department,” said Frye.