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DA: Rhode Islanders couldn't handle a West Roxbury rotary, crashed, got arrested for the catalytic converter police say they came up here to steal

A couple of guys from Providence came up to West Roxbury Wednesday night to steal catalytic converters, but they only managed to saw one off before they crashed in the big, scary rotary at West Roxbury and VFW Parkways, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

According to the DA's office, Joshua Ortiz, 21, and Yahir Rodriguez, 19, drove up from PVD with "two black ski masks, a battery-operated handsaw, 33 new and used blades for the handsaw, a battery and charging dock for the tool."

After having sawed off one catalytic converter, though, they hit the rotary and didn't yield to another car already in the rotary and crashed, the DA's office reports.

Troopers received information that, following the crash, occupants of one of the involved vehicles replaced the Massachusetts license plate that had been on the red Toyota Rav4 and replaced it with Florida license plate, which could be observed hanging from the rear of the vehicle by a single screw. One of the occupants then fled through area yards with the Massachusetts plate and other items from the vehicle.

The vehicle’s driver, Rodriguez, remained on scene. He was carrying a screwdriver in his pocket.

Troopers who followed the path the other guy seemed to take soon found a bag containing one catalytic converter, plus all the tools to remove more and the ski masks, the DA's office says.

While handcuffed and in police custody, Rodriguez continued to attempt to look at his phone, which received a number of text communications from a contact who appeared in the phone as “Josh.” The text chain was open on the phone and visible to police. Incoming messages referenced a car crash and stated that individuals were enroute to the crash scene to pick up Rodriguez. Troopers remained in the area and observed a vehicle pull into a driveway that none of the vehicle’s occupants had any connection to. Among the occupants was Joshua Ortiz, who matched the physical description of the individual seen fleeing the crash.

At their arraignment in West Roxbury court yesterday, a judge set bail for Ortiz at $500 on charges of possession of burglarious tools, conspiracy, receiving stolen property under $1,200 and trespassing. Rodrguez was released on personal recognizance on charges of possession of burglarious tools, conspiracy, receiving stolen property, attaching wrong plates to a motor vehicle and driving without a license. He was cited for speeding and failure to yield at an intersection for the crash that led to the search and arrests.

Both are due back in court on Oct. 7.

Innocent, etc.


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This feels like a "don't commit two crimes at once" kind of situation. Of course, in the glorious city of Boston, driving recklessly is only de jure out of bounds.


Someone tried to steal my neighbor's car with a keyless intercept device, got into the car, got it started, then freaked out when my neighbor came out and crashed it through a hedge and into a house.

A doorbell cam got the plate number of the (stolen) truck that was idling in the street when the car was being electronically accessed and that guy was caught. That driver did not have a license, and I doubt the one trying to steal the car had one, either.

I wouldn't expect that these people are very well trained in handling vehicles.


PVD isn't in Providence. It's in Warwick.

People in Providence call itt PVD all the time, there's even a PVD fest. Which btw is really fun.


PVD the airport is in Warwick, but PVD the train station is in Providence.

Amtrak train station PVD is in town. Acceptable?

Yaguttaluv how we greet the over-confident out-of-towners by quickly humbling them with our road network which GPS will never be compatible with. The City of No.

Head eastbound on Nonantum to Soldiers' Field Road using Google Maps. Just before the IHOP, it will tell you to bear right onto N. Beacon St then immediately turn around to get back on the river road. I've had to stop Lyft/Uber drivers from listening to it.


So, Rhode Islanders are much like Massholes that can't handle rotaries either.