Multiple Catalytic Converters 

Recovered During Traffic Stop 

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 stolen property, gross misdemeanor  possession of burglary tools, felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor  possession of drug paraphernalia 

                                                                           Robert Lee Hodges Jr., 55, of Las Vegas, Nevada

 

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 stolen property, gross misdemeanor possession of  burglary tools, felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor possession of drug  paraphernalia 

                                                                             Fernando Contreras, 38, of Las Vegas, NV

 

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 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,

 

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”.