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Friday, April 22, 2011

Midnight Shift Officers Arrest Thief

Catalytic Convertor Thief Arrested

Wrentham Police Sgt. George Labonte and Patrolman Scott Ellis arrested Jeffrey M. Waterman, age 38, of 900 Washington Street, Wrentham, MA for the attempted theft of catalytic converters from Turnpike Truck located on Route 1, Wrentham, MA.

Sgt. Labonte and Officer Ellis were both working the midnight to eight shift and decided to set up surveillance on Turnpike Truck and Helping Hands of America, two businesses where catalytic converter theft has been an on-going problem. In the course of the surveillance, Officer Ellis observed flashlight beams and notified Sgt. Labonte. The two officers set up a perimeter and then moved in to apprehend Waterman who was hiding on the property. Waterman was dressed in dark clothing, wearing a knit hat and gloves, was carrying a flashlight and had numerous sawzall blades in his possession. Also recovered were a cordless sawzall and a catalytic converter that had been cut from a vehicle.

Wrentham along with other communities has experienced increased incidents of catalytic converter thefts from local garages, car dealers and from the Wrentham Outlet Mall. The catalytic converter is an emission-controlling device that is a part of the exhaust system of many automobiles and trucks. The platinum on the converter makes it a valuable device at scrap yards where thieves turn them in for cash. The units are generally removed very quickly with a sawzall tool, hacksaw or pipe cutter.

Waterman was placed under arrest and taken the Wrentham police station for booking. Wrentham, Norfolk and State Police K9 searched the area for additional suspects to no avail. The investigation is continuing.