HENDERSON — Vance County’s sheriff says his deputies have made two arrests in connection with thefts in the area.

One of the men, Orlando Lucas of Kittrell, faces two counts of felony breaking and entering a motor vehicle and a county of felony larceny.

The other, Dakota Wilson of Chase City, Va., faces three counts of felony larceny and three counts of injury to personal property to obtain non-ferrous metal.

Sheriff Curtis Brame said deputies arrested Lucas on Oct. 11, and that the charges against him stem from a number of vehicle break-ins that occurred in the Dabney community.

Deputies arrested Wilson on Oct. 12, in the course of investigating a series of catalytic converter thefts that Brame said occurred “throughout the southern part of the county.”

Brame did not say whether the two cases are connected. Lucas was held in the Vance County Jail pending a $60,000 secured bond, and Wilson was held in the jail pending a $120,000 secured bond.

The recent catalytic converter thefts aren’t the first in the area this year, nor is Wilson’s arrest the first authorities have made in connection with them.

The highest-profile such incidents targeted the N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance yard off Gillburg Road in March and April, resulting in damage to at least eight vehicles. Similar thefts elsewhere in the state prompted authorities with the state and several counties to join forces on an investigation that in May yielded the arrest of a Bertie County man.

Catalytic converters, which scrub pollutants from vehicle emissions, for years have been a popular target for thieves eager to get their hands on the precious metals like platinum that they contain.

A N.C. Department of Public Safety database indicates that Lucas has a lengthy criminal record that goes back to 1989. He has been in prison six times following convictions in Vance, Franklin and Warren counties. His most recent stay in prison lasted for a little over 14 months and followed convictions on firearms and vehicle breaking and entering charges.

Contact Ray Gronberg at rgronberg@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.

Contact Ray Gronberg at rgronberg@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.