Fifth Member of Catalytic Converter Theft Crew Pleads Guilty

November 17, 2023

A Springfield, Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Boston to his role in a regional organized theft crew that officials say stole catalytic converters from more than 490 vehicles as well as from bank automatic teller machines and jewelry stores.

Zachary Marshall pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce and interstate transportation of stolen property, U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy reported. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for Feb. 7, 2024.

Marshall and six other men were arrested on April 12, 2023, and charged with offenses related to the theft, transportation and sale of stolen catalytic converters taken from over 490 vehicles during 2022 and 2023.

Catalytic converter theft became a nationwide problem across a multitude of state, local, and federal jurisdictions due to the high-valued precious metals they contain. As metal prices have dropped, thefts have also declined.

For Arrested Ringleader, Stealing Catalytic Converters Is Full-Time Job, Police Say

Marshall was a member of an organized crew that allegedly stole catalytic converters from at least 492 vehicles across Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 2022 and 2023 alone. Marshall participated in thefts of catalytic converters from 107 vehicles over the course of 10 separate instances between Jan. 19, 2023 and April 6, 2023 – most of which targeted vehicles in more than one municipality over the course of a single night.

Officials believe that a significant number of additional thefts have not been identified or were not ever reported to law enforcement.

New Massachusetts Law Aims to Thwart Catalytic Converter Thieves

Law enforcement officials allege that the crew was led by Rafael Davila, who they allege was responsible for the planning and transportation around each targeted theft.

Marshall also admitted to breaking into to a self-storage facility in Northborough, Massachusetts on February 2, 2023, and stole items from storage units, and a truck containing approximately $13,000 worth of power tools.

Four other men have pleaded guilty in the catalytic converter thefts. Charges against Davila and another suspect remain pending and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

More than 70 local police departments in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut contributed to the investigation through the submission of their investigations of catalytic converter thefts in their jurisdiction.