A Big Federal Catalytic Converter Theft Operation Exposed and Has Been Broken Up! 7 Men Arrested
A significant Federal Catalytic Converter Theft Operation Exposed and Has Been Broken Up stealing ring by authorities. More than 470 vehicles had their catalytic converters stolen, costing $2 million. Seven individuals moving as quickly as a “NASCAR pit crew” are suspected of being part of the heist. Like the film’s heroes, the claimed thieves vanished in “under 60 seconds” after each heist.
Special Agent Joe Bonavolonta, who heads the Boston field office of the FBI, made the remarks at a press conference in federal court that,
“Today, ‘Operation Cut and Run’ culminated with the arrests of seven individuals from western Massachusetts who are accused of conspiring with each other to steal, sell and transport hundreds of catalytic converters across state lines that once belonged to unsuspecting drivers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.”
Rafael “Robbin Hood” Davila, 35, was detained on Wednesday and was named by officials at a press conference as the mastermind of the theft. They also include:
- Zachary Marshall, 26;
- Jose “Goldy” Torres, 37;
- Nicolas Davila, 25;
- Jose “Charlito” Fonseca, 26;
- Santo Feliberty, 34; and
- Alexander “Dirty” Oyola, 37
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Catalytic converters are the broad, flat columns connected to a car’s exhaust pipe; their cores are made up of precious metals, many of which have an ounce-for-ounce value higher than gold. Bonavolonta said,
“Catalytic converters are easy to steal, they’re valuable, and they lack identifying markings that can easily be traced by law enforcement. They’re also a prime target for thieves because of the exploding market value of the precious metals hidden inside their core and the disruptions in the supply chain that makes them difficult to replace.”
The converters’ precious metals were trading at a premium on Wednesday. At least two suspects dressed in dark clothing would target both residential and commercial vehicles in a maroon Acura, which was seen at multiple crime scenes investigated by federal, state, and local police (the feds claim more than 70 agencies were involved in total, while the Massachusetts State Police claim “nearly 80”).
Have a look at the tweet given below published by the official page of the Boston Herald:
Seven men were arrested this morning in western Massachusetts and charged with being members of a crew responsible for stealing catalytic converters from more than 470 vehicles, causing $2,000,000 in losses for vehicle owners. https://t.co/jHgSkWf3uV
— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) April 12, 2023
With various surveillance recordings from the investigation playing on a monitor beside her, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Racheal Rollins stated that the team would target as many as ten cars per night. One night, 26 vehicles would finish their crimes in under a minute.
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Bonavolonta said the alleged ringleader Rafael Davila worked eight-hour shifts many nights a week. Bonavolonta claims that Davila sold them to go-between Jose Torres, who allegedly stocked up hundreds of them to sell to purchasers in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey “for a hefty profit,” as reported by the Boston Herald.
Authorities claim that the thefts involved more than just catalytic converters. It is also alleged that some of those arrested used stolen vehicles for ripping ATMs out of the ground on three consecutive occasions in December.
On January 12, three team members allegedly burglarized two New Hampshire jewelry stores, making off with $137,000 worth of merchandise and causing around $10,000 in damage.
Agawam, Springfield, Palmer, and Holyoke were all searched during the arrests, with the State Police claiming to have found seven firearms, six automobiles, seven motorcycles, two jet skis, a boat, a Can-Am Spyder (a three-wheeled bike), U.S. currency, unspecified narcotics, and more than 20 catalytic converters.
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