SLC Sheriff: Five Suspects Arrested in Catalytic Converter Thefts In Fort Pierce Over Thanksgiving Weekend
St. Lucie County - Monday November 28, 2022: Last Friday St. Lucie County Sheriff Deputies arrested five suspects on allegations of stealing roughly 180 catalytic converters during the Thanksgiving Holiday.
A tip from a local businessman led to the arrests of the five who are now accused in a large scale catalytic converters theft ring.
SLC County Sheriff Ken Mascara say roughly 180 catalytic converters were stolen on Thursday and Friday near the 2600 block of Center Road in Ft. Pierce. That number is expected to rise as the investigation continues.
Sheriff Mascara reports that the closing manager of a local business contacted 9-1-1 last Friday at approximately 8 p.m. after he saw two suspicious ladders positioned along a perimeter wall.
Deputies responded to the scene where they arrested four suspects: Carlos Martinez, 30, Carlos Umberto Argueta Bonnila, 51, Jose Octovio Martin Hernandez, 51, and Jose Odair Martinez Funez, 39. A fifth suspect, Ladonte Shaquille Hill, 29, was identified and later apprehended at a nearby hotel.
The SLC Sheriff's Detectives believe that these suspects traveled to St. Lucie County from North Carolina.
“Catalytic converters are targeted by thieves for their precious metals. With the arrest of these five individuals, we hope to deny their precious freedom for a long time so they don’t victimize anyone else,” said Sheriff Mascara.
All five suspects were arrested and transported to the St. Lucie County Jail for burglary of an occupied structure, possession of burglary tools with intent to use, and grand theft. Each suspect is being held on $190,000 bond.
If you have any information, please contact the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office or call Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-TIPS (8477).