Two men have been arrested and one more is wanted in connection with the theft of catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters which have been reported in St. Tammany and surrounding parishes.
Since mid-December, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has taken numerous reports of catalytic converters and other exhaust-related parts being stolen from parked vehicles in St. Tammany Parish.
Detectives with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office began partnering with detectives from several neighboring agencies including the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Hammond Police Department and the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office after it was discovered those agencies had received reports of similar crimes occurring inside their jurisdictions.
Last week, detectives with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office received a tip in connection with the thefts. Thanks to that tip and the cooperation between the four agencies, investigators were able to identify and obtain warrants for the arrest of three subjects: Mark Crayton Sr. (57) and Mark Crayton, Jr. (31), both of Holden and Samuel "Banky" Bankston (26) of Livingston.
Mark Crayton Sr. and Mark Crayton Jr. were taken into custody last week in Livingston Parish and booked into the Livingston Parish Jail. Once released from Livingston Parish, they will be transferred and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on 13 counts each of Theft between $1,000 and $5,000 (felony) and 14 counts each Criminal Damage to Property between $1,000 and $5,000 (felony). These charges are connection with the thefts that occurred in St. Tammany Parish, and they face additional charges in the other jurisdictions where thefts were also reported.
Samuel "Banky" Bankston remains at large. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Det. Nelson with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 726-7856 or (985) 898-2338.