WORTH TOWNSHIP, Ill. – A burglary alarm lead to one of the largest recoveries of allegedly stolen parts in the history of Illinois this week.
According to Cook County Sheriff’s Police, it began Sunday when officers responded to an alarm in the 6000 block of 128th Place in unincorporated Worth Township. When no one from the home responded to officers , they walked along the property’s perimeter to ensure the home was secured. It was then that police reported spotting what appeared to be hundreds of catalytic converters in a metal crate, stacked along a fence.
After reviewing records, a tow truck driver from Worth Township, Ramsy Sandoka, was arrested by Cook County Sheriff’s Police and the Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Taskforce (ISATT) for possessing 612 catalytic converters without proper documentation or license.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Department reports the arrest is one of the largest stolen parts recoveries in the history of Illinois. Catalytic converters are a prime target of thieves due to the valuable metals within them that can be sold for a high price. According to State Farm data, catalytic converter thefts have increased by over 400% nationwide since 2019, with Illinois ranking third in thefts.
Sandoka is facing charges of aggravated possession of a stolen vehicle and misdemeanors for failing to keep recyclable purchase records, selling/purchasing catalytic converters, and violating recycle metal law.
Sandoka was scheduled for a bond hearing Thursday.