ISRI is working aggressively to combat the problem of metals theft by encouraging the local collaboration of its member companies with law enforcement. The following represent just a few of the success stories that this partnership has and will continue to produce.
Featured Success Stories
Michigan State Troopers from Michigan State Police Lansing Post arrested a Detroit area man on 11/23/13 as the result of a lengthy criminal investigation into the theft of multiple catalytic converters from vehicles in the Lansing area, the investigative operation called OPERATION CLEAN CUT, a name used because of the extremely clean cuts found on the remaining exhaust pipes of targeted vehicles. The larceny from auto felony arrest occurred at a Michigan Department of Transportation car pool lot located on Holt Road near US-127 in Alaiedon Twp.
The individual arrested by MSP was subsequently linked to hundreds of catalytic converter thefts across Central and Western Michigan between June and November of 2013.
The suspect, a 22 year-old Detroit resident, exclusively targeted car pool lots adjacent to major interstates. MSP Lansing Post detectives subsequently obtained a confession from the arrested suspect, who then agreed to voluntarily demonstrate his method of operation for removing catalytic converters from vehicles. The suspect allowed detectives to video tape the demonstration, which resulted in the removal of a catalytic converter from an Oldsmobile Silhouette van in 26 seconds with the use of a cordless reciprocating saw. The arrested suspect has been charged criminally in multiple counties in Michigan and is awaiting trial; he is currently incarcerated in the Clinton County Jail on probation violation charges.
As a result of this investigation; along with the key criminal intelligence information obtained by detectives, the Michigan State Police Lansing Post has implemented a law enforcement officer training program that will assist patrol officers in the recognition of catalytic converters and their internal components, along with instruction on the different methods of operation and preferred vehicle models of those individuals involved with the theft of automotive catalytic converters.
On August 27, 2013, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in Ventura, CA issued a theft alert in reference to the theft of 50 adjustable steel plates that had occurred the day prior. The day after the alert was broadcast, they were contacted by Standard Industries in Ventura, and advised that there was a subject there attempting to sell property matching the description listed in the alert. Responding officers were able to apprehend the suspect just outside of the Standard Industries yard. The victim was able to positively identify the stolen property as being his and the suspect was arrested. The Sheriff’s office reports, “We probably would never have been able to solve this case without the use of ScrapTheftAlert.com. We would like to commend the personnel at Standard Industries for diligently checking the posts. The suspect is a regular scrap metal thief. Hopefully this arrest will result in some jail time.”