Car Chase Concludes with Catalytic Converter Crooks Caught

Car Chase Concludes with Catalytic Converter Crooks Caught
Photo: stolen catalytic converters 

June 14, 2022 – Santa Barbara County, Ca.
The recent rash of late-night catalytic converter thefts from vehicles parked on neighborhood streets and in private driveways has residents on the lookout for any unusual activity outside their homes.

That vigilance led to a 911 Emergency Call response by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s patrol units at approximately 10:00 p.m. on June 13 th . According to SBSD Spokesman Lt. Rob Minter, the SBSD black-and-white rolled to a stop in front of the reporting address where they were provided with a victim’s description of “the suspect vehicle” involved in what appeared to be the theft of the catalytic converter from the victim’s car.

A search for the suspect vehicle was immediately initiated, and it was spotted approaching a nearby southbound onramp to U.S. Highway 101. “A traffic stop” was attempted, but the suspect vehicle accelerated onto the freeway at speeds “well in excess of 100 mph.”

Further pursuit on the freeway was suspended due to concerns for public safety, but the vehicle was tracked by other patrol units as it sped southbound through Santa Barbara and Carpinteria communities. At that point, California Highway Patrol and Ventura County Sheriff patrol units were notified and began tracking the fleeing suspects.

A short time later, “the suspect vehicle collided with a fixed object” on the streets of the City of Ventura, whereupon Los Angeles residents Saul Tamayo, 37, Wilber Rabanales, 37, Pedro Martinez, 32, and Edith Godinez, 33 were taken into custody. Deputies located “over a half- dozen catalytic converters and theft-related tools” inside their car. All four suspects were then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where they were booked on charges of grand theft, eluding law enforcement, hit and run, and conspiracy to commit grand larceny.

Tamayo and Rabanales remain in custody with their bail set at $25,000 and $50,000 respectively, while Martinez and Godinez have been released without bail “because of COVID-19 rules.”

Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Sheriff

Car Chase Concludes with Catalytic Converter Crooks Caught was last modified: June 16th, 2022 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara

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