EVERETT — A Snohomish man allegedly hunted in parking lots outside a high school, bus stations and stores in his quest for precious metals.
Prosecutors allege that Michael Heuslein, 40, cut emission devices from pickup trucks and sports utility vehicles to harvest bits of metals inside. The catalytic converters contain platinum and palladium, which are valuable to scrap metal recyclers.
Prosecutors on Friday charged Heuslein with multiple counts of second-degree malicious mischief. Everett police suspect the Heuslein is responsible for dozens of stolen catalytic converters here since last year. Heuslein also allegedly admitted that he’s stolen the devices from vehicles in Tukwila, Bellevue and at the Sea-Tac International Airport.
In charging papers, prosecutors say that Heuslein hit the Everett Transit Center several times. He also stole the devices from cars parked at Everett High School, Winco and a strip mall along Evergreen Way.
The vehicle owners reported that it cost up to $1,200 to replace the catalytic converter.
Heuslein has seven prior felony convictions and 36 misdemeanor convictions.