Dorient G. Reid, 33, of Jamaica, is awaiting arraignment Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead on 28 counts of grand larceny and auto stripping.
Investigators said they connected Reid to a string of thefts from vehicles parked in Nassau County between June 21, 2013 and Feb. 24, 2014. In a news release announcing Reid’s arrest, police said he “damaged numerous vehicles and their exhaust systems” when he allegedly stole more than 35 catalytic converters from the undercarriages of the cars.
Detectives said Reid targeted several Long Island communities and would often focus on parking lots, body shops and truck rental parking facilities when he snatched the catalytic converters which are used to filter exhaust from automobiles.
Authorities said catalytic converters are commonly targeted by thieves because the valuable metals inside the converter can fetch hundreds of dollars apiece at scrap yards.
Police said Reid was also responsible for stealing catalytic converters from nine vans belonging to the Nassau County-based nonprofit group AHRC Nassau – which provides services to developmentally disabled adults – last week. The vans were parked along Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow and the theft occurred sometime last Tuesday night, a spokesman told reporters.
Reid was arrested at his home on Friday. Police did not say what led them to suspect him in the thefts.