Porterville man arrested in connection to recent catalytic converter thefts
A Porterville man has been arrested on suspicion of multiple charges in connection to a series of catalytic converter thefts, according to police.
Police began investigating following two separate incidents of catalytic converter thefts on July 19 and July 20, respectively, at two different locations within the city. In the first theft, surveillance cameras captured a suspect vehicle — a dark grey Chevy Silverado — while in the second theft, the victim witnessed two suspects under her vehicle with a sawzall-type tool while a third subject waited nearby in a vehicle with the same description.
In the latter case, the suspects fled emptyhanded.
Detectives obtained a plate number for the vehicle, as well as a photo of the driver, and tracked it to a residence in Woodland. There they began surveillance, at one point watching as the vehicle was driven toward the Porterville area.
Deputies pulled the vehicle over and detained the driver, Andres Garcia-Aguilar, who was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. Garcia-Aguilar also reportedly had two outstanding warrants, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor. Detectives also located sawzall-type blades and other evidence in the vehicle.
Police then obtained a search warrant for the Woodland residence, where they say they obtained additional evidence connecting Garcia-Aguilar to the thefts. He later reportedly confirmed his involvement in a statement. He remains in custody on $147,500 bail.
The investigation is ongoing and two suspects are still outstanding.