After several thefts from his property, a Warwick businessman decided to fight back, using technology and a little perseverance to combat a rash of catalytic converter thefts.
At 10:31 a.m., Sept. 21, Warwick Police responded to the Mobil at 15 Jefferson Boulevard after receiving a report of two men fighting.
Warwick Police Officer Normand G. Guilbert responded to the scene and saw two men involved in a “tussle,” according to the arrest report.
One man told police that the other man had been stealing from his business, Walser Mobile Refrigeration LLC at 110 Brownlee Boulevard. He told police that his business had been robbed of catalytic converters over the course of the last couple of days, and some of his property was in the other man’s car.
Police identified the other man as William E. Hazard Sr., of 94 Grassmere Ave., Providence.
The alleged victim told police that the fence to his property was cut and there were bolt cutters left behind on the property, but there were still some converters left behind after the first incident, so he placed Apple AirTags inside two of them. He left the converters on his property and hoped to catch the thief.
The victim told police that he tracked one of the tags to a scrap yard in Providence, Accurate Converter, at 199 Branch Ave. Once there, he called Providence Police to assist in viewing security footage, where he allegedly saw Hazard pulling into the lot.
“Then he saw William enter the office and receive payment for the converter,” Guilbert said.
On Sept. 21, when the victim checked his app to track the second tag, he saw it was located at the Mobil Station. He drove there and approached Savage, confronting him about stealing property from his business.
He told police that Hazard tried to drive away, but he took the keys out of the vehicle. That’s when the scuffle began. The man held onto Hazard, yelling for other patrons to call for police.
Police allegedly found a red Craftsman saws all tool on the floorboard of Hazard’s vehicle, a ball pin hammer and 24” orange bolt cutters protruding from the open trunk compartment. Hazard was charged with Possession of Stolen Parts and Habitual Offender Shoplifting, Larceny or Receiving Stolen Goods (after three previous convictions).
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