Police: Catalytic converters stolen in Vegas operation - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Police: Catalytic converters stolen in Vegas operation

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A SWAT vehicle was sent to a warehouse as part of a raid on a "chop shop" operation. (Stefanie Jay/FOX5) A SWAT vehicle was sent to a warehouse as part of a raid on a "chop shop" operation. (Stefanie Jay/FOX5)
Six of the seven people arrested in connection with a chop shop bust. (LVMPD) Six of the seven people arrested in connection with a chop shop bust. (LVMPD)
Police said the raid took place at a warehouse just off Industrial Road. (Stefanie Jay/FOX5) Police said the raid took place at a warehouse just off Industrial Road. (Stefanie Jay/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Las Vegas SWAT officers raided a business that, police believe, was stealing catalytic converters and other car parts in a million-dollar operation.

Las Vegas Metro police first told FOX5 of the raid that took place at a warehouse just off Industrial Road, south of Sahara Avenue.

In an investigation, police believe specialized "chop shops" were melting down stolen catalytic converters to sell them for money. Police said the car parts, at times, result in a $1,400 price per ounce of platinum.

A search warrant executed Monday morning resulted in the discovery of catalytic converters, as well as transmissions, engine blocks and other parts. Police believe the one warehouse pulled in more than $1 million in one year.

Police arrested the following people in connection with the investigation:

  • Alex Wertheim, 47, of Las Vegas, is charged with owning/operating a chop shop and attempting to buy, possess or receive stolen property.
  • Dean Sbraccia, 44, of Las Vegas, is charged with 28 counts of grand larceny.
  • Michael Sbraccia, 43, of Las Vegas, is charged with 36 counts of grand larceny.
  • Dawn Yon, 21, of Las Vegas, is charged with 34 counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny.
  • Charles Nicholas Smith, 36, of Las Vegas, is charged with one count of falsely attaching or removing a VIN number from a vehicle.
  • Michelle Susan Mourelatos, 49, of Las Vegas, is charged with one count of falsely attaching or removing a VIN number from a vehicle, along with traffic-related warrants.
  • Daniel James Kelly, 41, of Las Vegas, was arrested on July 2 in connection with the investigation. He is charged with seven counts of grand larceny, two counts of attempted grand larceny and one count of destroying the property of another.

Police further said thieves tied to the operation would target cars in parking lots and specifically hospitals and other businesses.

Police also raided a home in Summerlin as part of the investigation.

Stay tuned to FOX5 for the latest on this developing story.

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