Fernando Contreras (Courtesy of MPD)
Howard Ferguson (Courtesy of MPD)
Robert Hodges (Courtesy of MPD)

Mesquite, NV –

Mesquite, NV – On Friday, February 23, Mesquite detectives concluded an investigation into catalytic converter thefts which was initiated after an officer stopped a vehicle several days earlier. During the initial traffic stop, the officer observed the hands and clothing of the driver, and both passengers were covered in grease and oil. He also observed several used catalytic converters in the rear seat that appeared to have been freshly cut.  

Detectives later obtained a search warrant and conducted a search of the vehicle. They recovered sixteen catalytic converters, burglary tools, illegal drug paraphernalia, and methamphetamine. Detectives located a storage lot where the catalytic converters of seventeen vehicles had been cut but not yet reported. All sixteen stolen catalytic converters matched the vehicles in this lot, and detectives located an additional catalytic converter the thieves left behind inside the storage lot. All recovered stolen property was returned to the victims.  

The driver, Robert Lee Hodges Jr., 55, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was arrested and charged with 11 counts of felony burglary of a motor vehicle, 17 gross misdemeanor counts of injuring or  tampering with a motor vehicle, felony possession of the stolen property, gross misdemeanor  possession of burglary tools, felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor  possession of drug paraphernalia 

Fernando Contreras, 38, of Las Vegas, NV, was arrested and charged with 11 counts of felony  burglary of a motor vehicle, 17 gross misdemeanor counts of injuring or tampering with a  motor vehicle, felony possession of the stolen property, gross misdemeanor possession of  burglary tools, felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor possession of drug  paraphernalia 

Howard John Ferguson, 51, of Big Bear City, CA, was arrested and charged with 11 counts of  felony burglary of a motor vehicle, 17 gross misdemeanor counts of injuring or tampering with  a motor vehicle, felony possession of the stolen property, gross misdemeanor possession of  burglary tools, felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor possession of drug  paraphernalia 

Due to the felony charges, all three were transported to the Clark County Detention Center in  Las Vegas, Nevada. 

“Catalytic converter thefts continue to be a pervasive problem across the country but MPD is dedicated to stopping these thefts in Mesquite” stated Chief MaQuade Chesley. “I am thankful the detectives, in this case, worked so hard to return the property to the victims and hold these thieves accountable for their crimes against our beloved Mesquite residents”.  

 

Mesquite Police Department Website: http://police.mesquitenv.gov/

 

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