Police: Catalytic convertor thief caught red-handed

September 16, 2019 06:51 PM

State police say they have made an arrest and caught a thief red-handed in connection with the theft of catalytic converters from car lots in the Capital Region.

Upstate Auto Sales says they've been hit several times in just over a week.  They're hoping this arrest will give them some relief.


Someone has been cutting catalytic converters out of vehicles there on Route 7 in Pittstown, most recently on Saturday morning.

New video shows the thief sneaking around the property overnight. One camera shows he's carrying what appears to be a Sawzall over his shoulder. The family business is tired of taking the hits.

"We were hit approximately 10 years ago when they took 40 catalytic converters then. We posted a reward and we got the three guys prosecuted," said Joe Carista, with Upstate Auto Sales.

The owners are hoping the thief is now off the streets.

State police arrested 38-year-old Jake Hodgdon of Swanton, Vermont on Saturday.

Authorities say he regularly went to YS Catalytic Recycling to scrap catalytic converters.

Police say they caught him there with nine stolen ones, plus a Sawzall he used to cut them out.

"I think it's really good. It's getting somebody off the street that's doing it in numerous places, and it's a big financial hit for us," said Carista.

Hodgdon's been accused of stealing catalytic converters in several states over many years. More than 10 years ago, police say he was even caught cutting the exhaust off a Mercedes in a restaurant parking lot.

"Now we have somebody in custody on this crime here, this recent one, due to the fast action of the police department and the citizens that turned it in, he's sitting in jail," said Carista.

Hodgdon was due back in court on Monday evening. He's facing charges including criminal possession of stolen property.

Police say he also had prescription medication that did not belong to him.


WNYT Staff

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