• Charged: 2 brothers accused of targeting auto shops, stealing catalytic converters

    May 18, 2017

    MILWAUKEE — Two brothers are accused of stealing catalytic converters. Investigators say they targeted auto shops — and they found more than auto parts on the suspects.

    According to the criminal complaint, Alexander and Santiago Bonilla are accused of stealing catalytic converters. It all began in July 2016. Prosecutors say the Bonilla brothers’ first theft was at Direct Auto Sales. They are accused of using a hydraulic floor jack to lift up a vehicle and remove a catalytic converter.

    Alexander and Santiago Bonilla

    Then in March of this year, investigators say the two committed the same crime at Millennium Auto on W. Forest Home Ave. They were stopped 10 days later. Police found a syringe and a sawzall in the truck — but they were never arrested.

    It wasn’t until last month when the two were spotted in a Greenfield Target parking lot. Surveillance video showed the two pull up to a Honda and steal the catalytic converter.

    Investigators say they found more than auto parts on the suspects. Police searched their vehicle and say they found a sawzall, hydraulic floor jack, catalytic converter, syringes, swabs, cooking tins and tourniquets.

    If convicted, the brothers could spend more than five years in prison and $60,000 in fines.

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