JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Twenty-six-year-old Jacksonville man Samuel Folwer III was arrested in the early morning hours of May 4th for stealing catalytic converters from an auto auction facility, police said.
Jacksonville police responded to a burglary in progress at Auto Insurance Auctions located at 186 Pecan Park Road.
Auto Insurance Auctions is a large storage yard surrounded by chain-link fence and it has a history of break-ins, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office incident report. Burglars typically cut holes in the fence to gain access, the report states.
On the morning Folwer is accused breaking in, three officers and a K9 responded to the scene. The K9 alerted to a scent and began pulling officers toward Fowler's location, the report states.
Fowler was found wearing work gloves and taken into custody without incident, police said. He also had an active warrant, the report states.
The police report said a Sawzall, Sawzall blade, bolt cutters, and a bottle of WD-40 were in Fowler's possession at the time of arrest.
Catalytic converter thefts
Catalytic converters are targeted because they contain precious metals, such as platinum and rhodium. Thieves can make anywhere from $25 to $300 for a standard catalytic converter on the black market, and converters from hybrid vehicles can sell for up to $1,400.
A skilled catalytic crook can nab a converter from the underbelly of a car within five to ten minutes. The removal process is relatively quick and quiet. Most people don't know if their converter has been cut out until they start their engine and hear a loud rattle.