ST. LOUIS – An East St. Louis man admitted to stealing dozens of catalytic converters from truck and vans around the St. Louis area.

Matthew Jennings, 31, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to one felony count of conspiracy to transport and sell stolen goods. As part of a plea agreement, Jennings admitted to stealing catalytic converters as early as Dec. 2019 along with D’Ante Carter.

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Investigators say the two stole 39 catalytic converters from vehicles in the St. Louis area and sold them for scrap. The duo also tried to to steal three more, targeting pickup trucks and vans parked overnight at landscaping companies, other commercial businesses and at least one organization that helps people with disabilities.

According to the plea deal, Carter acted as lookout and Jennings used a reciprocating saw to cut the converters free from the vehicles. The two then sold the converters to a recycling company in Illinois.

Jennings is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 10 and could face up to five years in prison. A federal judge had previously sentenced Carter to nine months in prison.