Skip to comments.Suffolk police make arrests in catalytic converter thefts
Posted on 07/12/2008 5:01:52 AM PDT by csvset
Police have filed more than 150 charges against three people accused of stealing dozens of catalytic converters from vehicles in Suffolk and Chesapeake.
Late Friday, police announced that the three were arrested Wednesday, after a Suffolk officer saw them near a car at Kings Fork Middle School, city spokeswoman Debbie George said.
David Christopher Bone, 27, and Nicholas Edward Villi, 26, both of Windsor, and Tiffany Nicole Holt, 22, of Chesapeake are being held without bond at Western Tidewater Regional Jail, a jail spokesman said.
Bone and Villi each face 27 criminal charges in Suffolk; Holt faces 12 charges. All were charged with grand
larceny, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, larceny with intent to sell and possessing burglary tools.
Within a few minutes of Suffolks announcement Friday afternoon, a similar one came from Chesapeake. Police filed 93 charges, including 70 felony counts, accusing them of stealing the expensive auto part that, in many cases, can be easily removed from beneath the bottom of a truck or sport utility vehicle .
Suffolk police started looking into the crimes earlier this week, when witnesses reported seeing a dark-colored van with a man, a woman and a child. In the most recent cases, at the school, the suspects were using a family members gold Nissan, George said .
A resource officer at the middle school saw the vehicle and three subjects around a teachers vehicle, but the vehicle appeared to be undamaged, George said. Later, when it was started, it was apparent that its catalytic converter had been stolen.
For thieves, the converters can bring as much as $100. Law enforcement officials
nationwide have been reporting thefts of converters for months. At least three metals used
to make the part bring high prices: platinum, rhodium and palladium.
In Chesapeake, converter thefts started to show up in December or January, said police spokeswoman Christie Golden . Dozens have been stolen in both neighborhoods and parking lots, she said.
Some mornings, we would wake up and find four or five cases, Golden said. They would hit a whole street.
Suffolk police were investigating the theft of one converter on July 4 in a Wal-Mart parking lot in north Suffolk. Another theft occurred in the Sentara Obici Hospital parking lot two days later .
In Suffolk, soon after the first converter was found missing at the middle school, another school resource officer saw the same gold Nissan leaving the parking lot, George said. She said the vehicle was followed and stopped on Lake Prince Road, where the suspects were arrested.
In Cheaspeake, officials said Bone and Villi are facing charges of grand larceny, tampering with a vehicle and possessing burglary tools.
Holt has been charged with grand larceny and attempted grand larceny.
Staff writer Kristin Davis contributed to this report.
Linda McNatt, (757) 222-5561,
Dittos on the low IQ. They picked the wrong city.
No bond, plenty of prison time.
While I agree with your thought, I doubt any of them will actually see any prison time.
There will never be any restitution to the victims, and they will get off with a few hours of "community service".
So, how much can you sell one for?
Someone had just went through my old car the other nite, the front doors were just pushed shut one click is how I could tell, nothing to steal inside...
About $70, dad sold 2 + the beads from a third for about $200, if I got that right.
“So, how much can you sell one for?”
I went to high school with a guy who recycled catalytic converters from junkyards back in the 70’s and early 80’s.
At the time, people were just throwing them away when they went bad or the vehicle was wrecked. He was a good chemist and developed his own processes for extracting the platinum.
I don’t know how much he got per unit, but he was doing very well. Probably not commercially feasible at that time but he made good money at it.
I think we will be seeing a lot more of this. I am continually amazed by what thieves are stealing for metal recycling now.
As a trendy victim, I experienced this about two years ago, in the great California Central Valley. Toyota 4-Runner.
Parked 30 feet away from large front windows. I was totally clueless about the vulnerability. Fortunately, I was "lucky" in that it was a "low cost" year model. Some newer ones cost thousands to replace.
If you own an SUV, get yourself to Midas and have the sucker tack-welded. I wish I had known beforehand.
I understand they "wholesale" for around $50 and resold for about $150.
Not sure how much platinum is actually in the units.
“While I agree with your thought, I doubt any of them will actually see any prison time.”
If convicted, they will do prison time. Virginia does use it’s prisons unlike many states.