Three Men Arrested on Suspicion of Attempting to Steal a Catalytic Converter
Photo: reciprocating saw at the scene
BRENTWOOD — Three noisy men apparently looking to make a fast buck got busted instead. Officers arrested the trio on suspicion of attempting to steal a catalytic converter.
They were caught in the act by a resident, awakened by loud drilling noises outside his home. The noises continued as he dressed to go outside and investigate.
Much to his surprise, the bottom of his van was illuminated by lights. Moreover, two men underneath were making the racket. A third man was apparently acting as their lookout.
The victim yelled at the men and startled them. They ran to a pickup truck parked nearby and fled.
As the suspects were driving away, the victim inspected his van and noticed damage. The exhaust system was cut off, apparently in preparation to steal the catalytic converter.
The victim phoned the police and gave a detailed description of the getaway pickup truck. Responding officers located it nearby and detained the three men.
While questioning them, officers also found reciprocating saws and one catalytic converter inside the truck.
Typically, catalytic converter thieves work in groups during nighttime hours, with one person acting as a lookout. Precious metals inside catalytic converters are sold to recyclers and scrap yards.
In this instance, officers arrested these suspected catalytic converter thieves from Stockton.
Esteban Arreola, 38 years old
Miguel Axalpa, 35 years old
Jorge Marquez Ramirez, 40 years old
All three suspects were transported and booked at county jail. Each man faces multiple charges, including felony vandalism and conspiracy to commit a crime.