Police: Woman third person charged in $12,000 Milford catalytic converter theft

Photo of Peter Yankowski
Police in Milford, Conn. have charged a third suspect alleged to have carried out a theft of catalytic converters from Bath Fitters, a remodeling company, on Aug. 21, 2021.

Police in Milford, Conn. have charged a third suspect alleged to have carried out a theft of catalytic converters from Bath Fitters, a remodeling company, on Aug. 21, 2021.

Jill Dion / Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — Police say they have charged a third person in connection with a theft of catalytic converters, costing a local business $12,500.

Yamil Burgos, of Middletown, was charged with second-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief and conspiracy to commit second-degree larceny and first-degree criminal mischief.

Milford police said Burgos, 26, was taken into custody on Tuesday. She was released on a promise to appear in state Superior Court in Milford on Oct. 4.

Two of Burgos’ alleged accomplices, Pedro Acevedo and George Alicea, were identified in part after police said investigators obtained video of them at a marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts.

In a statement Wednesday, Milford police said their investigation “led to evidence that [Burgos] was an active participant in the thefts.”

“A warrant was issued for Burgos’ arrest,” police said. “This is the third arrest made in this case.”

According to a warrant in the earlier arrests of Acevedo and Alicea, investigators used cellphone records and video surveillance footage that connected the men with the Aug. 21, 2021 theft.

The warrant claims Acevedo and Alicea were caught on surveillance footage stealing catalytic converters from five vans at Bath Fitters, a remodeling company, while a woman kept lookout. The thefts were discovered and reported two days later when an employee went out to start one of the vans and realized the catalytic converters had been removed.

The emissions control devices are targeted by thieves because they contain precious metals valuable to scrap dealers. Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed a law aimed at curbing catalytic converter thefts that limits the number of the devices can be sold to scrap dealers in one day.

Police wrote in the warrant that the vehicle seen in the Milford thefts — a white Nissan Altima — matched the description of a car used in similar catalytic converter thefts in Waterford two days earlier.

The vehicle later struck a police officer in Farmington who was responding to reports of a white Altima stealing catalytic converters, according to police. The officer, James O’Donnell, underwent surgery and suffered several broken bones, police said at the time.

Cellphone records showed Alicea and Acevedo communicated regularly, according to the warrant. Alicea fit the description of the suspect in the Bath Fitters thefts for another reason — the surveillance video captured him walking with a limp, the warrant stated.

According to police, Alicea could also be seen limping in a video from a Massachusetts dispensary, where the two went in September of last year.

Acevedo has not entered a plea in the Milford thefts, court records show. He is next due to appear in court on Sept. 23, and remains in custody on a litany charges — including assaulting a public safety officer in Farmington last September.

Court records show Alicea also has not entered a plea to the Milford charges. He was released on $25,000 bond and is due to appear in court on Oct. 21, records show.