EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Queens man has been charged with stealing dozens of catalytic converters from vehicles on Long Island, including nine vans for the transport of developmentally disabled adults.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, Dorient Reid, 33 of Jamaica, Queens, has been charged multiple counts of auto-stripping and grand larceny. He was set to appear for an arraignment Saturday in Nassau County First District Court in Hempstead, county police said.
Police said Reid took more than 35 catalytic converters from vehicles around Nassau County, targeting facilities from body shops to U-Haul truck lots.
He is also charged in the thefts from the vehicles belonging to AHRC Nassau, an organization based in East Meadow that serves the developmentally disabled. The vans did not show up to pick up participants this past Wednesday because the thefts had left them undrivable.
“When they started the van, they noticed the van started making a very loud noise,” AHRC Nassau site manager Judith Green told CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes earlier this week.
Catalytic converters help control vehicle emissions. Experts said they are easy to remove, and valuable for thieves – with parts fetching more than $1,000.
The vans were parked in a lot on the Hempstead Turnpike when police said the thief struck sometime Tuesday or Wednesday.
Staffers said they usually pick up about 30 participants and then take them to do volunteer work. Some of that had to be canceled on Wednesday.
An AHRC spokesman told Hall the total loss suffered by the organization is about $2,500, even though police said the scrap value of the catalytic converters was only about $150 apiece.
The organization said earlier this week that it is borrowing vans for the time being from other AHRC chapters.
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