www.insurancenewsnet.com, February 5, 2023
Connecticut police say the weight and reach of the federal government is needed to hobble organized crime rings cashing in on the thriving black market for catalytic converters.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he supports federal help to curb the rampant thefts and would back more resources for law enforcement.
Local police say aid is welcome and necessary. Cheshire Police Chief Neil Dryfe, head of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, noted a joint investigation last year of an East Hartford-based catalytic converter theft operation that federal authorities say hauled in at least a half-million dollars. Ring members sold the hot converters in New York and New Jersey, federal authorities said, easily skirting a state law that took effect last July focusing on Connecticut scrap yards.
"The perception among Connecticut police officials has been that most stolen catalytic converters are ultimately being sold out of state," Dryfe said. "The partnership between various federal agencies and the local police department resulted in the entire operation being shut down and the seizure of significant assets.
"This type of case is much more likely to disrupt the market for stolen catalytic converters than the arrest of suspects caught in the act of committing the thefts," Dryfe said. "The CPCA values our partnerships with federal law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Attorney's Office and Sen. Blumenthal, and we welcome any additional support they can provide to help us disrupt what has become a serious crime problem in Connecticut." Continue Article