By Kevin Deutsch
A 37-year-old man was arrested for grand theft after Coral Springs Police detectives linked him to a string of catalytic converter thefts across South Florida, police said.
During a June 5 surveillance operation conducted with the help of BSO’s Burglary Unit and Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s Rapid Offender Control Unit, Coral Springs detectives said they saw James Dixon exit a vehicle parked next to several box trucks. Next, detectives said they heard an electric saw — typically used to remove catalytic converters — being used near the box trucks.
Police arrested Dixon a short time later at a gas station on Powerline Road in Fort Lauderdale, arrest records show. They found the catalytic converters he allegedly stole off the box trucks on the front passenger seat of his vehicle, police said.
Catalytic converters are an expensive exhaust emission control devices many box trucks use to reduce toxic gases and pollutants. Unfortunately, the devices are a favorite target of thieves because they contain precious metals, such as platinum and palladium.
Police said they linked Dixon to other catalytic converter thefts in Broward and across the tri-county area. No additional details were provided.
In addition to grand theft, Dixon was charged with criminal mischief, violation of probation, and driving with a suspended license, arrest records show.
“The Coral Springs Police Department is dedicated to cracking down on the crimes affecting all the members of our community and will not tolerate crimes of opportunity,” the department said in a Facebook post announcing Dixon’s arrest.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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