Judge denies bond for teen accused of stealing catalytic converters from Cy-Fair ISD high school parking

HOUSTON – A man accused of stealing catalytic converters from a Cy-Fair ISD high school parking lot went before a judge Thursday morning.

Gregg Emell Hunter is being held without bond until his next court hearing. The 18-year-old is facing a charge of aggregated theft.

Hunter entered the courtroom in handcuffs wearing an orange jumpsuit. He had a burn on his right forearm.

Officials says Hunter, along with another suspect identified as 19-year Bobby Ray Turner and a juvenile, stole at least seven catalytic converters from students and teachers at Bridgeland High School on April 11.

Hunter has a previous criminal record dating back to November of 2021. He has been previously charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and assault with bodily injury.

“It’s a really high crime right now. Everyone is really involved in trying to steal catalytic converters. They’re resulting in deaths, as you know of the other case in Harris County involving the off-duty officer, as well as other individuals being shot, so this is really serious in Harris County and we want make sure we keep these individuals off the streets,” Kathryn Rogers, chief prosecutor said.

They alleged suspects were spotted by students in the parking lot and Cy-Fair ISD police stopped the trio near the school. They found saws and catalytic converters inside the vehicle.

Sam Hanna said his wife is a substitute teachers at Bridgeland and came out to find she was one of the victims.

“ It was so loud you can’t drive it around like that, so we had to put a quick fix because even when you go to the dealership they don’t have the converters,” said Hanna. “So I put the straight pipe now just to be able to drive the car.”

Hanna told KPRC he estimates repair’s will cost about three grand once he can actually find the converters but that’s not all he’ll have to fix.

“As a result of the theft they cut some wiring and sensors from the vehicle, so it’s giving us all sorts of problems,” Hanna said.

After the initial thefts, Cy-Fair ISD released the following statement from the chief of police:

“Catalytic converter thefts are a problem across the nation, and we have recently seen an increase in these thefts from vehicles in the Hwy. 290/Telge area. In response, CFPD has increased the number of patrol officers at schools in this area and the hours for parking lot surveillance. Toyota and Honda vehicles are the preferred targets; however, any vehicle may be a subject for this particular crime.

“There are several ways to deter theft, such as installing an anti-theft device on your catalytic converter, painting it with a high-temperature fluorescent paint, or having your vehicle identification number (VIN) or driver’s license number etched into the converter. Contact your auto dealer for more information.

“Always remain vigilant in parking lots. Keep an eye out for non-authorized individuals sitting in parked cars or loitering. Do NOT approach these individuals, and notify CFPD at 832-237-CFPD (832-237-2373).”

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