SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two Springfield men were arrested Sunday morning for allegedly stealing a catalytic converter from a car on School Street.

Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh said around 8:20 a.m. officers were called to School Street for a report of suspicious activity. Crime analysts using the Real-Time Analysis Center (R-TAC) were able to view live cameras to inform officers on the street of two suspects that came out from under a vehicle with several items.

Officers found and detained 51-year-old John Larder and 55-year-old Joseph Polmatier, both of Springfield. Officers were also told the two men had allegedly placed some items at a nearby tree on the intersection of Temple and School streets. Police found a catalytic converter, a car-jack, and a sawzall. 

The vehicle Larder was driving was reported stolen and he also had a suspended license. Larder has been previously arraigned 98 times in court, including four since 2021, for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, numerous charges for larceny, and possession of burglarious tools.

“Catalytic converter thefts continue to be a major issue not just in our city, but across the country.  These thieves can remove these car parts in less than a minute leaving the driver or business without the use of their vehicle(s) until its repaired. This suspect with now more than 100 arraignments clearly has skirted any serious repercussions for his repeated crimes. I’d like to thank our officers’ quick response, our hard-work Auto-Theft Detectives and our Crime Analysts for an excellent job of working together to apprehend these suspects Sunday morning,” said Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood.

Larder was arrested and charged with the following:

  • Malicious Damage to a Motor Vehicle
  • Receiving a Stolen Motor Vehicle
  • Larceny of Motor Vehicle Parts Over $1200
  • Possession of Burglarious Instruments
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License

Polmatier was also arrested and charged with the following:

  • Malicious Damage to a Motor Vehicle
  • Larceny of Motor Vehicle Parts Over $1200
  • Possession of Burglarious Instruments
  • Possession of a Class A Drug
  • Arrest Warrant
    • Possession of a Class B Drug

“98 adult arraignments! This is beyond a repeat criminal offender, this is the court system giving our Springfield residents and businesses as comedian Rodney Dangerfield would say ‘no respect’! What the hell does it take for our courts to hold someone accountable? An individual with this track record is clearly laughing at our court system and sadly will once again be slapped on the wrist and let go to steal and damage someone else’s property. The judges seem to think it’s ok for my Springfield residents and businesses to ‘take it on the chin’, I don’t and will keep fighting for my Springfield residents and businesses on these public safety and quality of life issues. Our courts and state laws must change, we cannot keep this revolving door of career criminals stealing and hurt our residents and businesses. I commend our brave and dedicated men and women of the Springfield Police Department for their efforts day in and day out, but we need the courts and the laws of the Commonwealth to protect and have the best interest for our residents instead of pandering to these repeat criminal offenders.”

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno