Catalytic converter theft ring busted: Two businesses behind scheme

Two companies implicated in a catalytic converter theft ring are the goal of a lawsuit introduced Thursday by Los Angeles Metropolis Lawyer Mike Feuer.

“We need to maintain companies accountable for complying with primary guidelines and making certain that victims obtain restitution to which they’re entitled. That’s the aim of this announcement at present,” Feuer stated.

The Los Angeles Police Division has acquired greater than four,300 stories of thefts of catalytic converters stolen from automobiles during the last 4 years. However after an LAPD process drive made arrests at one of many companies in 2015, the variety of reported thefts dropped by sixty two % in 2016, Feuer stated.

The lawsuit names Gonzalez Brothers LLC, an auto elements recycling enterprise in Pacoima, and Kinsbursky Brothers Provide Inc., a scrap metallic recycler in Anaheim.

The lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Courtroom, alleges the operators of Gonzalez Brothers knowingly bought stolen catalytic converters and resold them to different companies, together with Kinsbursky Brothers Provide.

The house owners of Gonzalez Brothers couldn’t be reached, and Scott Kinsbursky didn’t instantly return a name for remark.

An example of a catalytic converter, not one of the converters stolen from the story.
An instance of a catalytic converter, not one of many converters stolen from the story.

Catalytic converters, which on common are value $one hundred fifty to $200, include a number of valuable metals and are sometimes situated in an accessible space on the underside of automobiles, making them frequent targets of thieves. California has extra catalytic converter thefts than any state within the nation, Feuer stated.

Since 2009, state regulation requires companies or people who buy catalytic converter elements to maintain detailed data of the transactions and prohibits offering money funds on the time of the sale.

In April 2015, the LAPD shaped its process pressure to tackle the issue, which resulted within the arrests of Gonzalez Brothers co-proprietor Juan Gonzalez and one in every of his staff, together with 5 people seen getting into and exiting the enterprise.

“There’s cash to be made by numerous people concerned in it, however finally the crime knowledge drove us to the sample and enabled the duty drive to comply with these patterns and provide you with a really efficient investigation,” stated LAPD Valley Bureau Chief Robert Inexperienced.

A search warrant executed at Gonzalez Brothers recovered firearms, instruments and different gadgets used to steal converters, and greater than 300 converters that didn’t have any data related to them, based on the LAPD.

Gonzalez pleaded responsible in December 2015 to felony receipt of stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm. His worker, Eriberto Molina, pleaded responsible to felony receipt of stolen property in November 2015.

The lawsuit alleges that Kinsbursky Bros. bought 23,822 catalytic converters between August and September 2015 alone, and none of transactions included the paperwork required by regulation. A search warrant was executed on the enterprise by the duty pressure on Sept. 22, 2015,…

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