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Seven Massachusetts Men Arrested for Stealing $2 Million in Catalytic Converters

NASCAR pit crew ( Photo: CBS News )

The arrests came after an investigation led by the FBI and nearly 80 police departments dubbed “Operation Cut and Run.”

Catalytic converter

Catalytic converter ( Photo: WMAR )

Seven Massachusetts men have been arrested for allegedly stealing catalytic converters worth at least $2 million from vehicles in Massachusetts and New Hampshire

The men are accused of working together to rapidly steal valuable car parts, which contain platinum, palladium, and rhodium. On multiple occasions, the defendants targeted more than 10 vehicles in a single night, with one night reporting thefts from 26 vehicles. The men are also accused of stealing from ATMs and committing burglaries at jewelry stores.

The men were arrested after authorities executed search warrants at Agawam, Springfield, Palmer, and Holyoke locations. The police seized stolen property, including six cars, seven motorcycles, a boat, two jet skis, and numerous stolen catalytic converters. The converters are valuable on the black market because they are made using rare metals, including palladium.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, the converters are worth about $1,000 on the black market

The arrested men include Rafael “Robbin Hood” Davila, who authorities identified as the leader of the operation, Zachary Marshall, Jose “Goldy” Torres, Nicolas Davila, Jose “Charlito” Fonseca, Santo Feliberty, and Alexander “Dirty” Oyola. According to investigators, Rafael Davila, Santo Feliberty, and Oyola also conspired to steal from ATMs of federally insured banks and committed burglaries at two New Hampshire jewelry stores.

U.S. District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a press conference that the men worked with the skill and speed of a “NASCAR pit crew” to strip cars of their catalytic converters under the cloak of darkness.

Massachusetts State Police Interim Col. John Mawn Jr. stated that the defendants’ actions are an affront to law-abiding citizens everywhere. Investigators noted that they believe a significant number of additional thefts have not been identified or were not ever reported to law enforcement.

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