Lerner & Lerner, P.C.

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New York man accused of stealing numerous catalytic converters

A 30-year-old New York man was taken into custody in connection with a series of catalytic converter thefts in the Glen Falls area. Several new and used car dealerships reported stolen catalytic converters in the days prior to his arrest. He is also being charged for several alleged converter thefts in the South Glen Falls area.

A police officer on patrol noticed the man's van in a secluded area of a parking lot. Upon approaching the vehicle, the man was reportedly found with greasy hands, a saw and four catalytic converters. He told the officer he was dirty because he was working on his own vehicle. After the man was taken into custody, police say he told them that it only takes him about two minutes to remove a catalytic converter from a vehicle. He is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree grand larceny.

Investigators are trying to determine if this man was connected to the rash of catalytic converter thefts in Washington, Warren and Saratoga counties. They believe he was selling the converters, which cost up to $1,500 to replace, for less than $150 at a scrapyard in Albany. The scrap dealer is also under investigation.

Though the police believe this man committed these crimes, they have mostly circumstantial evidence to prove their case. If he chooses to be represented by an attorney, his lawyer will likely make request that the charges against him be reduced or dropped in lieu of witnesses. Because many criminal cases are resolved through plea bargains, a lawyer may be able to help him get the most advantageous offer from prosecutors. An attorney with experience in defending people accused of theft and related offenses may be in the best position to defend someone against these charges.

Source: PostStar.com, "Greenfield man charged with catalytic converter thefts", Don Lehman, July 12, 2013