Photo Courtesy of Carid
Catalytic converters are expensive parts of all motor vehicles.
By Forum Staff
A Whitestone man is going to jail after his conviction for stealing more than a dozen catalytic converters from vehicles parked on Queens streets between October and December 2017.
“With the price of scrap metal continuing to increase, this mechanically inclined defendant brazenly stole the parts and then sold them to a recycling facility in the Bronx for cash. The sentence imposed today is warranted,” said DA Brown.
Michael Cipriati, 34, of 11th Avenue in Whitestone, pled guilty to second-degree auto stripping last month and was sentenced to one year in jail.
According to the criminal charges, between October 20, 2017, and December 6, 2017, the defendant removed 15 catalytic converters from various vehicles parked in neighborhoods throughout Queens, including Flushing, Astoria, Long Island City, College Point, Jackson Heights, Little Neck and Sunnyside Gardens.
The make and models of the vehicles included a Ford Econoline van, Toyota Prius, Acura TL, Dodge Sprinter van, Honda Odyssey, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Mercedes Benz, Honda Element, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Mitsubishi Outlander and Chevy Cavalier.
Cipriati was observed removing the catalytic converters from vehicles and/or cell phone records revealed that the defendant’s mobile phone was in the area at the time the expensive car parts were swiped. Additionally, on at least 11 of the occasions the catalytic converters were stolen, the defendant was selling the car part for that vehicle on the same day to Alpha Recycling in the Bronx.
Finally, at the time of his, Cipriati was observed driving a Mercedes Benz while his license was suspended with two Oxycodon pills were in his possession.