21-Year-Old Leader Of CT Catalytic Converter Theft Ring Charged: Police

A 21-year-old man is accused of leading criminal activity across Connecticut, including the theft of catalytic converters, wheels, all-terrain vehicles, and commercial burglaries, police announced.

Newington resident Ethan Angel Nieves, age 21.

Newington resident Ethan Angel Nieves, age 21.

Photo Credit: Southington Police Department

Hartford County resident Ethan Angel Nieves of Newington was arrested on Monday, April 29 following a nine-month investigation into a ring of thefts and burglaries across the state, Southington Police announced on Thursday, May 2. 

According to the department, the investigation determined that Nieves had been using a gray 2023 Honda Odyssey stolen from Farmington to commit crimes in Southington and the rest of the state since March 2023. This included catalytic converter thefts, wheel thefts, ATV thefts, and commercial burglaries, police said.

After several of these incidents were reported in Southington, the department worked to track down leads related to Nieves, including the confirmation that he had the stolen Odyssey. Police also confirmed that Nieves was believed to be a "ring leader" organizing criminal activity across the state, according to authorities. 

On Tuesday, March 12, Southington Police and other agencies executed search warrants at Nieves' New Britain residence. At this time, officers saw several people returning to the home in a stolen vehicle taken earlier in the day from a CarMax location in the New Haven County town of East Haven. Two out of three of these suspects were then taken into custody, the department said.

Later on, Nieves was confirmed to have been the third suspect and was arrested in connection with the incident. Several other agencies have also arrested and charged him for his involvement and other arrests are expected, according to police.

For his activity in Southington, Nieves was charged with: 

  • First-degree larceny;
  • Third-degree larceny;
  • Third-degree conspiracy to commit larceny;
  • Third-degree burglary;
  • Third-degree conspiracy to commit burglary;
  • First-degree criminal mischief;
  • First-degree conspiracy to commit criminal mischief;
  • Second-degree criminal mischief;
  • Second-degree conspiracy to commit criminal mischief;
  • Use of motor vehicle without permission.

He was later released after posting an $85,000 court-set bond, police said.

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