MA: Two Arrested in Commuter-Lot Thefts

HANSON - A New Bedford couple were arrested by MBTA Transit Police on Monday evening for allegedly stealing catalytic converters from vehicles parked in commuter rail lots in Hanson and Halifax.

Dennis and Tina Fager may be responsible for as many as 100 recent converter thefts on the South Shore, according to Transit Police Deputy Chief Lewis Best.

Because catalytic converters contain precious metals - platinum, palladium, and rhodium - converter theft is a growing crime across the nation, Best said.

Dennis and Tina Fager were seen entering the Hanson commuter rail lot in a white pickup truck at about 4:15 p.m. Monday, according to the police report. MBTA detectives were staking out the lot due to numerous reports of converter thefts in the area.

The Fagers were seen driving between parked cars and acting suspiciously before getting out of the truck.

Detectives then watched Tina Fager act as a lookout while Dennis Fager ducked out of sight, the police report states. The detectives heard metal being cut with a power tool, followed by the sound of a heavy object being dropped in the back of the pickup.

After the Fagers moved on to another vehicle, detectives approached them. Three catalytic converters and a cordless saw were found in the bed of the truck, and both Fagers were arrested and taken to MBTA Transit Police headquarters, police said.

Tina Fager reportedly admitted that they had cut two of the converters from vehicles in the Halifax commuter rail lot just before going to Hanson.

The Fagers were arraigned Tuesday in Plymouth District Court. Both are charged with three counts of larceny over $250 and three counts of malicious destruction of property.

"It was a very significant arrest," Best said. "They may be responsible for a great majority of such recent thefts."

Jessica Trufant may be reached atjtrufant@ledger.com

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