Auto repair shop owner charged with illegally buying catalytic converters

The 57-year-old local auto repair shop owner was arrested by the Ocala Police Department after being charged with illegally purchasing catalytic converters.

On Wednesday, September 14, OPD’s Office of Investigative Services conducted a special undercover operation to counter illegal purchases of catalytic converters, according to an OPD social media post.

In this article, OPD said: “Since the beginning of this year, we have seen an increase in thefts of catalytic converters in Ocala. Thieves prey on coins because they contain precious metals that can be sold for high prices.

“Furthermore, it only takes a few seconds for a thief to cut it from a vehicle and take off long before the vehicle’s owner notices, making it difficult for law enforcement to catch the thieves. criminals,” OPD added.

During the special operation, OPD targeted several auto repair shops in Ocala, including several shops that had secondary metal recycler licenses.

An undercover OPD agent reported to J&S Enterprises, located at 1211 NW 10th Street. The officer approached the store owner, identified as Jessie Samaroo, who is also a licensed secondary metals recycler.

jessie samaroo

According to OPD, the undercover agent attempted to sell two catalytic converters to Samaroo. The undercover officer told Samaroo that the catalytic converters were received “from a friend”.

OPD states that Samaroo and the officer have reached an agreement on the price. Samaroo then “purchased the catalytic converters illegally with cash”.

Under Florida law, a secondary metals recycler cannot accept cash for a catalytic converter. In addition, a secondary metals recycler must verify that the seller owns the catalytic converter or is licensed to sell it, and a paper and electronic record of all catalytic converter purchase transactions must be maintained.

Samaroo was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and later released on $6,000 bond. As a licensed secondary metals recycler, Samaroo is facing criminal charges for breaching payment method, failing to verify proof of address and failing to keep required records.

A court date has not yet been set, according to prison records.

Daniel C. Williams