Catalytic Converter Crooks Caught
Photo: Catalytic Convertors collected at scene | Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department
Written By: Robert L. McCullough
Vehicle owners throughout the area more frequently than ever are like to start their cars up in the morning only to hear a tremendous racket emanating from a damaged exhaust system.
This is no accident, but the result of widespread thefts of the emission control devices designed to turn toxic, smog-producing fumes into something less poisonous to the health of the general public. According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Raquel Zick, the devices “contain precious metals” of considerable value, making them “a frequent target for thieves.”
There are apparently two fewer of those dark-of-night sneak thieves plying their trade since 25-year-old Arman Abrahamyan, and 28-year-old Levon Martirosyan, both residents of Glendale, Ca. were arrested at 3:30 a.m. on January 17 th .
Both suspects were caught by mere happenstance when SBSD patrol deputies “observed a suspicious vehicle” as it was driving away from the Isla Vista residential area. Deputies conducted a routine traffic stop, made contact with both men, and “found 20 catalytic converters inside the vehicle, along with a floor jack and an impact drill.”
That was all the cops had to see and they promptly took both men into custody. They were then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where they were booked on charges of grand theft, possession of stolen property, conspiracy, and possession of burglary tools. Both men posted bail of $20,000 each.