Catalytic Converter Theft Arrest
On March 23, 2022, at approximately 2:08 a.m., a witness doing overnight work at a business on Water Street heard grinding noise coming from a nearby parking lot. The witness investigated the noise and observed one male keeping watch while another male underneath a vehicle was using, what the witness believed was, a reciprocating saw. The witness quickly called police and continued to watch as the individuals entered a black BMW.
The first officers arriving on scene observed a black vehicle (BMW) with no headlights illuminated and very dark tints. As the first officer pulled into the lot, the BMW accelerated and struck the police car. The vehicle continued to accelerate, with tires squealing and smoking as the driver was attempting to flee.
As additional officers arrived, they approached the vehicle, unable to see within the car due to the heavy tinting.
Officers pointed their weapons at the vehicle and ordered the occupant(s) to exit the car.
The unknown person(s) would not comply. One of the officers utilized a baton to break the driver window in order to see into the vehicle. Two occupants were observed, and they finally yielded to officer commands. Justin Serrano (driver) and Jose Lopez were removed from the vehicle and taken into custody.
According to witness accounts, the pair were able to removed one catalytic converter from one vehicle and were interrupted while trying to retrieve a second. Officer searched the BMW and located 13 catalytic converters that appeared to have been recently cut from vehicles. These were seized as evidence. This investigation is ongoing.
Norwalk Police Chief Kulhawik commented on the incident, “This was an example of excellent police work. Our patrol officers responded quickly, and were able to contain the scene; fortunately, there were no serious injuries as a result of the actions of the arrested individuals.”
The Norwalk Police Department is grateful for the assistance that we receive from the people in our city; this joint commitment to safety and security helps us to continue in our apprehension of individuals determined to commit crimes on our city streets.
Justin Serrano, 30, of 105 Slater Road, New Britain, CT
Jose Lopez, 29, of 93 Walker Road, New Britain, CT.
(Serrano): Larceny 3, Larceny 5 (8 cts), Criminal Mischief 1, Interfering/Resisting, Criminal Trespass 3, Suspended License, No Insurance, No Registration, Fail to Grant Right of Way, Misuse of Plates
(Lopez) Larceny 3, Larceny 5 (8 counts), Criminal Mischief 1, Interfering/Resisting, False Statement
Bond: (Serrano) $50,000
Court Date: 3/29/2022 at Stamford Superior Court
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