Federal authorities bust catalytic converter theft ring with ties to New Jersey

A nationwide catalytic converter theft ring investigation ended with several arrests and raids by the FBI – including in New Jersey.

News 12 Staff

Nov 3, 2022, 12:39 AM

Updated 623 days ago

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A nationwide catalytic converter theft ring investigation ended with several arrests and raids by the FBI – including in New Jersey.
The raids started around 10 a.m. Wednesday. Three locations have been raided so far in the Garden State, including Holmdel, Freehold and Wrightstown.
FBI agents were seen earlier in the day removing pallets and boxes from a scrap yard in Wrightstown.
The Department of Justice announced the takedown of a nationwide catalytic converter theft ring. Seven defendants from New Jersey are said to have been running the scrap yard Wrightstown and several others in the state. The operation involved federal, state, and local law enforcement across the country.
According to officials, Blacey's U-Pick Auto Parts or D& G Auto Parts LLC in Burlington County, is where stolen converters were shipped for processing. They extracted the precious metals found inside the converters and sold them to a metal refinery for millions of dollars.
Neighbors say they had no idea a crime ring was being run out of the business, but say they noticed a change in activity once new owners took over in August.
“It's definitely been a lot louder. They're dropping a lot of stuff, sounds like a lot of construction. They're working longer hours…early in the morning, late at night we hear things,” said one neighbor.
Some residents say that they have even made complaints to the police due to the noise.
Authorities say the theft ring also has ties to California and Oklahoma. There have been federal grand jury indictments of 40 counts each with several defendants charged in both states.
Officials said that in 2020, thefts of catalytic converters increased 325% in just one year. They say that this is because the black-market price for a catalytic converter can be over $1,000 each. They are hard to trace and are fairly easy to steal. The precious metals inside the converters are extremely valuable.


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