Moorhead Police Arrest Two After Failed Catalytic Converter Theft

(Moorhead, MN) -- A pair of attempted car thieves caught red handed by the Moorhead Police Department.

On Tuesday at approximately 2:30 am, officers were dispatched to the 400 block of 18th Street South for a report of suspicious activity called in by a resident of the area. The caller stated they witnessed someone underneath a vehicle and could hear what they believed was a saw being used.

Officers arrived in the area and after taking tips from the victim, found the suspect vehicle a short time after. Two reciprocating saws, often used in catalytic converter thefts, were in plain view during the traffic stop. One of the occupants also admitted to holding a flashlight while the other suspect was under the vehicle. The victim's vehicle had recent damage to the exhaust, including what appeared to be recent cuts, and the catalytic converter was missing.

As a result, 38-year-old Nicole McAloney and 37-year-old Melissa Desjarlait were both arrested and transported to the Clay County Jail. A long-form complaint has been sent to the Clay County Attorney's Office requesting felony charges of Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts and First Degree Criminal Damage to Property.

"The Moorhead Police Department thanks the concerned neighbor for calling our dispatch and providing the information," said Captain Deric Swenson. "These types of crimes are often complex to catch a suspect. The collaboration with our community is essential in providing extra eyes and ears in the neighborhoods to assist in apprehending criminals."

He added that while crime is not avoidable, this outcome is what is hoped to be achieved every single time.