An alleged catalytic converter theft spree ended abruptly for two Connecticut man when they got lost and stopped to ask for directions to the highway – from a cop.
The men Ryan Densmore, 23, of Wallingford, and Travis Mckeaveney, 24, of Middletown, were looking for Interstate 91 in Branford and could not seem to find it, so they approached Officer Dominic Eula around 4 a.m. on Monday and asked him how to find it, police said in a news release.
As the men drove off, Eula noticed something amiss. The back license plate of the car Densmore was driving was covered up, police said.
As the men got on to Interstate 95, they again met up with Eula, who stopped them this time.
Not only was there an issue with the plate, but the men had eight catalytic converters, battery-operated metal cutting saws, saw blades and headband flashlights that attached to their foreheads, police said.
The converters had been stolen from automotive business parking lots along Route 1 in Branford, police said, and thieves have been stealing them to cash in on the high value of scrap metal.
“I knew that we had a group of thieves taking these items, I just figured that that may have been a little better organized and more intelligent,” Chief John DeCarlo said. “Some criminals never cease to amaze me.”
Densmore and Mckeaveney were charged with possession of burglary tools and second-degree larceny.
Densmore was held on a $2,500 bond and later arraigned in New Haven. Mckeaveney was released on a written promise to appear in court in New Haven on Jan. 12.