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Burlington Police Arrest Man After Business Owner Reports Attempted Theft of Catalytic Converters

The Burlington Police Department arrested a New Hampshire man after an owner of a local business reported seeing an attempted break-in of motor vehicles early Wednesday morning.

Chief Thomas Browne reports that the department arrested Damon Bonnell, 44, of Pelham, N.H. on charges of Malicious destruction of property over $1,200 (two counts), Breaking and entering motor vehicle at night and Attempt to commit a crime (Larceny over $1,200).

According to police, on Wednesday, September 22, at 4:46 a.m., Burlington Police received a report from the owner of a used car dealership and garage in the area of Route 3 that surveillance video of the property showed an ongoing attempt to break into vehicles on the property.

Burlington Police responded to the business and interrupted an attempt to steal catalytic converters from two vehicles on the property, the release states. No catalytic converters were taken in the incident.

Police say suspects fled in a vehicle, but one individual fled from the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot as police pursued. That man, later identified as Bonnell, was arrested after a short foot pursuit.

The vehicle used in the incident fled on Route 3. Police say the investigation remains ongoing.

“This incident is a good example of cooperation between police and a local business owner helping to prevent a more serious crime and additional damage to property,” Chief Browne said. “I’d like to commend this business owner and thank him for his quick response.”

Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that converts toxic gases and pollutants into other gases. They are often targeted by criminals who want to resell rare metal contained within the converters when metal prices are high.

In response to an increase in such thefts across the region recently, Burlington Police would like to provide the following tips to help prevent such thefts:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public parking lots. This leaves your vehicle in a location where many people can see it.
  • If you have a personal or shared garage, keep your vehicle parked inside with the door shut.
  • Add video surveillance to the area where you regularly park your vehicle.
  • Install a catalytic converter-specific security device, such as an aluminum plate that, once installed, can provide a strong barrier against theft.
  • Adjust the security system on your vehicle, if already installed, to activate from vibrations, such as those produced by a saw.
  • Remember to call the police and report where your car was parked when your catalytic converter was stolen. Provide as many identifying details that you can, including the time when the theft most likely occurred.

Anyone with information about this incident, or anyone who spots suspicious activity in town, is asked to call the Burlington Police Department at (781) 272-1212.

These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.