Police: New York men arrested for stealing 20 catalytic converters in New Jersey

Police say 20 catalytic converters and a floor jack were found inside the suspect’s vehicle.

Lanette Espy

Feb 21, 2024, 2:53 PM

Updated 60 days ago

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Three men from New York were arrested for stealing 20 catalytic converters in Hamilton on Monday, police say.
Authorities say they responded to reports of a theft near Locust Avenue West around 6 a.m. They say while speaking to the victim, officers learned there was another catalytic converter theft occurring on the 3400 block of South Broad Street. They say when officers arrived at the scene, a dark colored sedan was leaving the parking lot at Barclay Apartments at a high rate of speed.
Police say a motor vehicle stop was attempted but the car accelerated away at a high speed, so the pursuit was called off.
Officers then located a car crash shortly after in the intersection of Hempstead Road and Arena Drive, police say. They say a man later identified as 31-year-old Joel Rodriguez, of the Bronx, New York, was seen fleeing on foot from the crash toward Marcia Drive. A foot pursuit then ensued.
According to authorities, a resident on Marcia Drive told officers that someone was in their backyard. A second suspect, later identified as 31-year-old Rafael Medina, of the Bronx, New York, was located behind a shed in the yard.
Rodriguez and Medina were later transported to a local hospital where they were treated for their injuries and released. The driver of the other vehicle was uninjured.
A third suspect, 30-year-old Renee Gutierrez, of Brooklyn, New York, was located inside the suspect’s vehicle, police say. They say 20 catalytic converters and a floor jack were found inside the vehicle.
All three suspects were arrested and charged with two counts of theft, criminal mischief and receiving stolen property. They are being held at the Mercer County Correctional Facility pending a detention.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective James Rickey of the Hamilton Police Division Major Crimes Unit at 609-689-5822 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.


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