Police in a shoreline town say they've nabbed the man who's accused of cutting catalytic converters from cars parked in lots up and down the shoreline.
Guilford Police say they developed a suspect and a car, and on Monday morning, an officer noticed a man matching that description in a commuter lot. When they checked his car, there were four freshly cut catalytic converters, along with a saw, underneath his driver’s seat.
"Somebody comes in, people park their cars there, they know they're going to be there for a period of time, they crawl underneath, typically use a cordless sawzall, cut the catalytic converter off, take it down and sell it to a scrap dealer,” said Guilford Deputy Police Chief Butch Hyatt.
On Monday, police arrested 29-year-old Jeremy Ghiroli at a park-and-ride off Exit 59 on Goose Lane.
“Literally had police officers on those hands and knees in those lots, crawling around, to see if any vehicles had been hit. Luckily one of the Madison officers found a vehicle up at the Madison train station that was missing a catalytic converter. We were able to take one of those catalytic converters up there and, perfect match,” Hyatt said.
The catalytic converters, which are part of a car's exhaust system, are easily the most valuable item that can be scrapped off a typical vehicle, because they contain precious metals, like platinum.
"The scrap cost for those things is relatively low, anywhere from $20 to $25, up to $100 depending on the size and the content in the catalytic converters, but the replacement cost, the inconvenience to the public, you're without your car for a couple of days, it’s costing you $1000 to $2000 to have that work done, and like I said, people feel violated as well. You park your car there, thinking it’s a safe spot and somebody does that,” Hyatt said.
Guilford police said this is an ongoing investigation as they continue to work with other departments on open cases.
Anyone along the shore who might have been victim to this type of crime, or who has information into what was taking place the last few weeks, is asked to call police.
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