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story.lead_photo.caption Acosta, left, and Presley. Photo by Submitted

HATTON — Two men suspected of attempting to steal a catalytic converter were arrested Thursday near Hatton, according to the Callaway County Sheriff's Office.

"This is another example of exemplary performance by deputies as demonstrated through proactive patrols and investigations," Sheriff Clay Chism said in a press release.

At 2:02 a.m. Thursday, a CCSO deputy patrolling County Road 245 encountered a parked, unoccupied vehicle at the rural cemetery near the County Road 282 intersection.

A CCSO arrest report states that based on findings at the scene, the deputy "believed criminal activity was afoot in the area." Additional deputies, including a CCSO K9 Unit, responded to assist. Deputies were able to confirm that an attempted theft of a catalytic converter from a resident's vehicle had just occurred at a nearby residence. They also learned two suspects had fled on foot and remained in the area.

Deputies began a search of the area. At 3:16 a.m., they located and arrested Vincent Acosta, 56, of Mexico, in the County Road 2002 area. At 6:08 a.m., they found and arrested Wesley Preston, 59, of Columbia, near County Road 262. Both were on foot.

Acosta and Preston have been charged with felony property damage and tampering with a motor vehicle. Preston also faces a drug-related charge, according to the CCSO. As of Friday, both remained at the Callaway County Jail pending the posting of bond.

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