Suspects arrested in connection with multi-city catalytic converter thefts

By: Sherri Kolade | Royal Oak Review | Published December 5, 2017

 File photo

File photo

ROYAL OAK —  Two suspects from Ohio recently were arrested and arraigned on felony charges for their alleged involvement in catalytic converter thefts that might extend across the state, according to a police press release.

Ohio residents Jowan McNeal and Darrell Boykins were arraigned before 44th District Court Judge Derek Meinecke Nov. 30 after they were arrested during the early morning Nov. 28.

McNeal and Boykins requested court-appointed attorneys, who had not been assigned by press time.

Royal Oak Police Lt. Keith Spencer said that Royal Oak police officers responded to a theft in progress at 6:36 a.m. Nov. 28 that involved two suspects in the 300 block of North Troy Street. While in that area, officers located the suspects, whom police identified as McNeal and Boykins, as they were attempting to walk away from the area, according to the press release. While taking McNeal into custody, Boykins fled, according to police. 

Police said they chased Boykins through multiple yards, and a resident noticed Boykins hiding in a yard and alerted officers. Boykins was taken into custody after allegedly trying to get into the suspects’ vehicle.

 Police said they discovered a reciprocating saw, saw blades, and 10 cut catalytic converters inside the suspects’ car, according to the release. A floor jack was also located near the area where the suspects were found. Both suspects were arrested and taken to the Royal Oak Police Department, according to the report.

Detectives from the Royal Oak Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division matched one of the stolen catalytic converters to a victim’s vehicle in the 2800 block of Rochester Road, south of 13 Mile Road, according to the report.

“We have reason to believe that there were additional thefts down in the Adrian … area, and some communities along the route from Adrian to here,” Spencer said, adding that the suspects were being “rather evasive” when police caught up with them.

McNeal is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit larceny from a motor vehicle and one count of larceny from a motor vehicle; both charges are felonies that carry a penalty of up to five years in prison, according to the release. McNeal is also charged with one count of attempted larceny from a motor vehicle, which is a felony that carries a penalty of up to two and a half years in prison. 

McNeal’s criminal history, according to the police report, includes convictions in Maryland and Ohio for felony escape, identity theft, obstructing government operations and delivery of narcotics.

McNeal has several outstanding warrants for his arrest in Michigan, according to the report. 

Boykins is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit larceny from a motor vehicle, one count of larceny from a motor vehicle and one count of attempted larceny from a motor vehicle. He also faces one count of obstructing a police officer — a felony that carries a penalty of up to two years in prison, according to the release. 

Boykins’ criminal history includes convictions out of Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland for theft, possession of criminal tools, possession of narcotics, motor vehicle theft, identity fraud, domestic assault, drug trafficking and escape, according to police. 

McNeal and Boykins were each given $30,000 cash bonds, no 10 percent, and their next scheduled court appearance will be at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 12 in the 44th District Court before Meinecke. 

Spencer said that one of the factors that helped in the arrest was the vigilant resident who alerted police.

“Whenever somebody sees any … type of activity — suspicious activity or thefts in progress — we encourage people to call us and let us know what is going on, so we get in the area and catch those individuals,” he said.