Police in Lacey Township are trying to find the person or persons responsible for stealing 14 catalytic converters from beneath automobiles at a local car dealership and repair shop.
Last Tuesday the owner of Christopher’s Auto Sales in Lanoka Harbor called police to report the theft, which had occurred sometime the previous night.
Owner Frank Cuozzo said the units had been sawed away from the undercarriages of each vehicle, with saw blades found left at the scene.
Shore News spoke with Cuozzo, who has been investigating the crime himself while preparing an insurance claim. He referenced a similar theft roughly a year ago at a shop in Bayville.
Cuozzo may not not know who stole the items, but he does believe he’s discovered where they ultimately wound up.
The day of the theft he visited an area scrapyard where he believed the converters might be fenced. After being told no matching items had arrived, he later that day received contradictory information from another source.
An eyewitness told Cuozzo he had seen an individual attempting to sell several catalytic converters, at least ten or more, that same morning at the same scrapyard.
Cuozzo expressed strong doubt that such a purchase wouldn’t set off red flags with a reputable buyer.
“Fourteen catalytic converters, all sawed off,” Cuozzo said. “You know what you’re buying.”