By Isaac Ray
A father and son duo were arrested for grand theft after a Coral Springs Police surveillance operation caught the men in possession of $30,000 worth of catalytic converters they had just sawed off box trucks.
On March 30, a Coral Springs Police mobile surveillance team was in the 3800 block of Northwest 124th Avenue attempting to capture suspects who had pulled off past robberies of catalytic converters nearby.
Catalytic converters are an expensive exhaust emission control device many box trucks use to reduce toxic gases and pollutants. The devices have become the target of thieves because they contain many precious metals, such as platinum and palladium.
The report said as officers watched, the two men, later identified as David Gonzalez, 54, of Miami Gardens and David Cossio, 23, of Hialeah, entered the Coral Springs Industrial Park in a vehicle known to be involved in the prior thefts. The surveillance team kept a close eye on the pair as they parked next to multiple cargo box trucks.
According to the report, after a brief period of time, the vehicle attempted to leave the Industrial Park but failed to stop at a stop sign, prompting a traffic stop by police. When officers approached the vehicle they immediately saw multiple catalytic convertors in plain sight. After closer inspection, it was clear the convertors had been sawed off of vehicles.
The report said officers held Gonzalez and Cossio as they conducted a sweep of the area in an attempt to locate any vehicles that had been burglarized. Officers soon located a single business near the 3800 block of 124th Avenue with two box trucks that were missing converters valued at a combined total of $12,000. The owner was contacted, arrived at the scene, inspected the damage, and confirmed the trucks had their converters sawed off.
Officers continued their sweep of the complex and soon located three additional trucks in the area with missing converters and determined that the matching patterns of which they were cut from the vehicles matched the converters in the suspect’s car that they had also been a part of the burglary spree.
Cossio and Gonzalez were placed under arrest, charged with grand theft, and transported to the Broward County Mail Jail.
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