ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – U.S. Marshals have arrested a Michigan man suspected of stripping catalytic converters from dozens of cars throughout Florida’s beach communities, including St. Johns County.
Titus Ali Bigelow, 27, was taken into custody Friday at his Detroit home as a fugitive of justice. He was booked into the Wayne County jail while he awaits extradition to Florida to face racketeering charges.
Bigelow is accused of stealing catalytic converters from 60 vehicles parked in Bay, Okaloosa, St. Johns and Walton counties between March 12 and March 17, 2018, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He’s suspected of similar thefts in Alabama and North Carolina.
According to FDLE, Bigelow would park next to his victims’ vehicles, then he would crawl underneath them and harvest the catalytic converters using power tools. The converters contain valuable metals, like copper and rhodium, which can then be sold or used for a variety of purposes.
“Thanks to the thorough and coordinated effort by local, state and federal law enforcement, this criminal is no longer able to jeopardize the safety and security of Florida citizens,” said Jack Massey, FDLE Special Agent in Charge for the Pensacola region.
According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Bigelow served prison time for larceny from a motor vehicle, attempted larceny from a motor vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon attempt convictions.
State Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office is handling the case. Vehicle owners who believe their catalytic converter thefts might be linked to the spree are asked to contact the FDLE Pensacola Regional Operations Center by calling 1-800-226-8574.