This story has been updated.
Well, we now know where your lifted catalytic converter went — or, at least, hundreds of those that have been stolen.
Jeffersontown Police say they have caught six people, most of them from the same family, involved in the trafficking of over $100,000 worth of stolen catalytic converter car parts. They are facing preliminary charges of organized crime.
For a year, Jeffersontown has been plagued by catalytic converter thefts, said Chief Richard Sanders at a press conference. It’s a problem throughout Louisville, as LEO reported in 2019.
Now, they believe they have found a “major organization” at the center of it: Redzep Beganovic the “main guy,” in Sanders’ words; his wife, Tahira Osmanovic; her two brothers, Elvis and Elvir Osmanovic; her mother Brankica Osmanovic; and a sixth person, Zilhad Colic.
After months of investigating the alleged ring, Jeffersontown police executed search warrants at three addresses in the early morning hours of Thursday, Nov. 18. At 6301 Southside Drive, police found a van with 170 to 200 catalytic converters inside. They also discovered records of catalytic converters that had been bought and sold, including $180,000 in receipts for a three to four month period. In addition, they seized $100,000 from a bank and another $10,000, as well as gold jewelry and a Mercedes from three storage units at 10007 Dixie Highway.
Jeffersontown police said they believe that the suspects were receiving 10 to 15 converters at a time from people who had cut them off of vehicles with saws The suspects would then, allegedly, take them to a buyer outside of Jefferson County.
Jeffersontown police are working with state police on investigating the buyer.
“It’s like a drug cartel,” said Sanders. “Just because we take off a cartel, drugs don’t stop being sold. But it certainly has an affect on it.”
Jeffersontown Police started investigating the suspects after they saw, on camera, someone who had allegedly stolen a catalytic converter selling that converter to a man who police believe was Beganovic.
The suspects are also facing preliminary charges of receiving stolen auto parts over $10,000 and eight counts of trafficking in stolen auto parts.
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