A Rochester couple has been arrested by New York State Police for allegedly stealing catalytic converters. NYSP Troopers arrested 25-year-old Brittany Hollaert and 31-year-old Vasiliy Maksimchuk on the charges of,

  • Grand Larceny 2nd degree, class “C” felony
  • Criminal Mischief 2nd degree, a class “D” felony
  • Auto Stripping 1st degree, a class “D” felony
  • Conspiracy 4th degree, a class “E” felony

The couple allegedly stole 17 catalytic converters from cars parked at Driver’s Village Auto located on East Circle Drive in Cicero. The damages are estimated to be more than $50,000. Both Hollaert and Maksimchuk are suspects in other thefts around the Rochester area.

Hollaert was arraigned and issued appearance tickets to appear in the town of Cicero Court.   Maksimchuk was transported to the Onondaga County Justice Center for centralized arraignment.

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New York State DMV Warns About An Increase In Catalytic Converter Thefts

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles is warning residents about an increase in catalytic converter thefts across the state. Some areas of the state have experienced a 200 percent increase in catalytic converter thefts. In addition to putting New Yorkers on notice about the crimes, the department announced a new initiative to work with law enforcement and auto dealers.

Thieves are targeting individual vehicles, as well as dealerships. With an already limited supply of vehicles due to microchip shortages and supply chain issues, the thefts from dealerships can increase the cost to consumers even more.

Catalytic converter thefts can result in $5,000 to $10,000 in damages and replacement costs.

Since catalytic converters use platinum, palladium, and rhodium, the value of those precious metals is the reason criminals are stealing them. The catalytic converters have a street value of between $200 and $300.

The DMV will now issue serial numbers to dealers to etch into each catalytic converter. While this won't directly stop thefts, it can certainly help law enforcement trace the stolen parts. DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said,

New car dealers have been hit particularly hard by these thefts. In addition to the cost to replace the stolen parts, these thefts often result in thousands of dollars in additional damage to the vehicle, which means a dealer has to wait to sell the vehicle or a new car buyer has to wait significantly longer to receive their vehicle. We are happy to help get etching kits into the hands of dealers to help them fight the scourge of catalytic converter thefts.

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The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are pretty harsh in New York according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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