MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 28-year old man has been charged with the recent thefts of catalytic converters in the Minnetonka area.
Angelo Valinteno Fleming has been charged with one count of theft for the stolen catalytic converters on or roughly between March 15 and March 23, and his maximum sentence is 10 years.
Minnetonka police responded to seven different reports of catalytic converter thefts since March 15. Of those thefts, 18 converters were cut from underneath vehicles and taken, causing anywhere from $600 to $2,500 in repair and replacement costs.
Officers analyzed numerous surveillance videos of incriminating evidence of two men in a U-Haul going under trucks and removing converters. On one occasion, one of the suspect’s got close enough for the camera to get a good image of his face. The shot was submitted to Hennepin County CISA for facial recognition. CISA responded with a match — the footage was of Angelo Fleming.
Minnetonka police spoke with Metro Metals recycling, a commonly used recycling center for selling catalytic converters, and shared a picture of the suspect along with a picture of the U-Haul. Without providing Metro Metals with a name, they identified the picture provided as a customer they know as Angelo Fleming.
Metro Metals stated that Fleming sold a total of eight converters to them on March 17, March 18, and March 19. Metro Metals informed Fleming on March 19 that they would no longer accept any more converters without proof of where they came from.
Surveillance footage also captured a license plate of the U-Haul. An alert was put out for the vehicle, and it was also reported as stolen with the Brooklyn Park Police Department. On March 26, the U-Haul was stopped by Wright County Sheriff’s Department after a driving complaint was called in.
Fleming and four other parties were arrested. Officers confirmed that Fleming sold 17 catalytic converters to Integrated Recycling prior to officers arriving. Wright County deputies recovered several reciprocating saws, saw blades and other tools that are typically used when stealing catalytic converters.
Officers are working to get repair costs for each stolen catalytic converter, but conservative estimates are between $9,000 and $15,000 in losses, according to police.
The defendant is currently on probation for felony fleeing in a motor vehicle. He has a significant criminal history, including violent crimes,