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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FL – On May 23rd, Charlotte County deputies responded to a business located on Tamiami Trail in South Punta Gorda in reference to the theft of a catalytic converter. It was determined that the catalytic converter was cut and removed from a Ford Excursion. When reviewing the surveillance footage from the business, detectives observed a Dodge Ram 4500 Tow Truck pull into the parking lot. Two suspects then exit the vehicle. While one suspect looked underneath the Excursion, the other acted as a lookout. At one point, one of the suspect walks directly in front of the camera where the letter “B A” can be clearly seen tattooed on his right arm. All of this takes places within less than five minutes.
Through the investigation it was uncovered that the tow truck marked with the Kings Towing and utilized to commit these crimes was not property of any legitimate business. In fact, this tow truck was used as an elaborate façade to commit these crimes during the day without drawing any unwanted suspicion. Deputies throughout Charlotte and surrounding counties were on high alert for this tow truck. Then on June 22, the vehicle was spotted by road patrol deputies traveling north on I-75 near mile marker 170. The driver was identified as Andy Manuh Flores Herrera, 25, and the passenger as Yordan Carreras Cespedes, 33. The driver’s tattoo also matched what was observed on the surveillance footage from May 23. During this traffic stop, Yordan provided deputies with a fraudulent business card stating he owned and operated Y & S Towing. It was determined that neither Kings Towing or Y & S Towing are legitimate businesses.
Surveillance footage of suspects stealing catalytic converter in less than five minutes. Both suspects were interviewed, where a confession was obtained to their involvement into catalytic converter thefts in the area and selling the items for profit. The theft of catalytic converters has been a recent criminal trend throughout southwest Florida. Both suspects were arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail.
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CCSO Detectives are actively investigating Andy Manuh Flores Herrera and Yordan Carreras Cespedes and expect additional charges are forthcoming. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office detectives ask for anyone with information regarding this trend, to please contact them immediately. Additionally, anyone with information regarding this case, and who wishes to remain anonymous, and eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the free P3Tips mobile app.
Both suspects have now bonded out of jail and the Ram 4500 tow truck they used in the commission of the crime was seized under the Florida Forfeiture Act.