2018-07-04 / Front Page

One-Year For Whitestone Car Part Thief

By Liz Goff
A 34-year-old Whitestone man was sentenced on June 25th to one year in jail for stealing more than a dozen catalytic converters from vehicles parked on streets throughout Queens.

Michael Cipriati pleaded guilty in Queens Supreme Court in May, to second-degree auto stripping, where he said he swiped catalytic converters from 15 vehicles that were parked in neighborhoods including Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights and Sunnyside Gardens between October 20 and December 6, 2017.

The make and model of the vehicles included a Ford Econoline van, Toyota Prius, Acura TL, Dodge Sprinter van, Honda Odyssey, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Mercedes Benz, Honda Element, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Mitsubishi Outlander and Chevy Cavalier, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Brown said Cipriati was observed removing the catalytic converters and that cell phone records revealed that his mobile phone was in the area at the time the parts were stolen. Furthermore, n at least 11 of the occasions when the catalytic converters were stolen, Cipriati was selling the parts – on the same day – to Alpha Recycling in the Bronx.

Finally, at the time of Cipriati’s arrest, he was observed driving a Mercedes Benz with a suspended driver’s license. Cipriati was also carrying two Oxycodon pills at the time of his arrest, Brown said.

“With the price of scrap metal continuing to increase, this mechanically-inclined defendant brazenly stole the parts and then sold them to a recycling facility in the Bronx for cash. The sentence imposed was warranted,” Brown said.

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