GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A third man suspected in a series of catalytic converter thefts is now in custody at the Clay County Jail, reveal documents obtained Wednesday by News4JAX.
Jail records show the Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mark Hintz, 42, of Jacksonville, on eight counts of grand theft.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the case began back in April when deputies were called to multiple businesses regarding catalytic converters being cut from vehicles. Northeast Florida Vending Inc. reported that three of their work vehicles were missing catalytic converters. Grimes Utilities reported the theft of four catalytic converters. MurphCo reported one catalytic converter was stolen.
In all, eight catalytic converters were reportedly taken.
Investigators got a break in the case when they said they obtained security footage from Grimes Utilities that showed two men on the property at 5:24 a.m. The affidavit states the two men were recorded going underneath vehicles before walking off the property 10 minutes later.
They were last seen carrying metal objects as they walked toward nearby railroad tracks. Investigators later found tire tracks next to the railroad tracks that led toward Loring Street.
A bigger break in the case came after the lead detective said he got word that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office had recently arrested multiple people in connection to catalytic converter thefts.
The affidavit identified two of the people arrested by JSO as John Dale, 55, and Shane White, 38, who were listed as co-defendants in the Clay County case involving Hintz. According to investigators, Dale admitted to being involved in catalytic converter thefts in both Duval County and Clay County.
Furthermore, the warrant states, Dale told investigators that he, along with White and Hintz, all took part in the planning and theft of catalytic converters in Clay County. According to the affidavit, Dale told investigators he was the lookout guy and getaway driver while White and Hintz did the actual labor of cutting away the catalytic converters with a special saw that had a flashlight attached to it.
Hintz was arrested Tuesday and remained in the Clay County Jail on a $120,000 bond. White also remained in the Clay County Jail on a $120,000 bond and Dale remained in custody in the Duval County jail on charges related to thefts in Jacksonville.