FCSO arrests thief connected with 13 catalytic converter thefts
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The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office will use the arrest to investigate the catalytic converter theft issue on a larger scale.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office just arrested a man who confessed to 13 catalytic converter thefts across several counties.

Deputies arrested Misael Siverio Mesa for methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, burglary and grand theft.

The sheriff’s office says Mesa had two converters in his car at the time of arrest.

The service manager at Auto Basics says drivers will know right away if they’ve had one stolen – when you turn your car on without one, it’ll be really loud and very offputting.

They serve a big purpose – catalytic converters change harmful emissions into ones that are more safe.

In doing so, they have some pretty valuable metals, notably rodium – the service manager says rodium sells for about $16,000 an ounce, so even with just a few grams in a converter, they can easily value anywhere from just under a grand up to two or three grand.

Of course, after arresting Mesa and him confessing to 13 thefts, the Flagler County Sheriff is hoping it’s something folks on the East Coast don’t have to worry about as much.

“We can enter suspicious vehicles in our license plate reader system,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “What I want these criminals to know is don’t make the mistake of getting off the interstate in Flagler County, because we’re going to get ya.”

The sheriff says Mesa was actually from Miami and had come up here on a prior trip to steal the converters.

He’ll be passing the information along to other departments to see if there’s any connection to a bigger scheme.

To try to deter thieves, the Flagler County Sheriff says to install a plate around the converter or inscribe your VIN number on it so its easier to trace.

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