DUBOIS- Felony theft charges have been filed against two brothers who stole multiple catalytic converters valued at over $95,000 from businesses in Sandy Township.
Dana Lee Bortz, 54, of DuBois was charged by Sandy Township police with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft of secondary metal, conspiracy/theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property along with misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief, unlawfully taking secondary metal from the premise and theft from a motor vehicle.
His brother, Jamie Brian Bortz, 48, of Jonestown was charged with felony theft by unlawful taking, conspiracy/criminal mischief, theft of secondary metal, as well as misdemeanor conspiracy/unlawfully taking secondary metal from the premise and theft from a motor vehicle.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the thefts began at the end of December with police responding to a car dealer on Behringer Highway where 28 catalytic converters were cut from 28 different vehicles with a total loss estimated at $30,802.37.
On Jan. 1, another business on Rich Highway reported that a catalytic converter had been cut from a van. Further investigation revealed that four vehicles had been damaged at this location with this loss valued at $6,804.91.
A second car dealer on Behringer Highway reported on Jan. 13 that four catalytic converters had been cut and stolen there. This loss was estimated to be $1,472.47.
Two saw blades and a flashlight were found at the sites near the vehicles that had been cut.
A month later, Feb. 22, the first victim reported that 11 more catalytic converters had been cut from vehicles there.
They were able to provide police with surveillance photos of two individuals who kept walking by their surveillance camera the night before the thefts were discovered.
Investigators were advised that state police had arrested Dana Bortz for theft in a separate case and he was questioned in regard to these thefts.
Police say Dana Bortz admitted he stole the catalytic converters from each site. He reportedly stated that his brother, Jamie, helped him by being the lookout while he was under the vehicles cutting the parts out.
The total value of the items taken from the vehicles is listed as $95,779.38 in the criminal complaint.
Both men are incarcerated in the county jail on $25,000 bail each with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday at District Judge Pat Ford’s office.
Online court documents show that Dana Bortz is facing retail theft charges in a separate case in Clearfield County and theft charges in two separate cases in Jefferson County.
Jamie Bortz also has one theft case filed in Jefferson County.