Yolo County Man Arrested for Allegedly Burglarizing U-Haul Truck, Stealing Cat. Converter
Above: The U-Haul truck in question | All photos courtesy of Woodland PD
A Yolo County man has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of stealing a catalytic converter from a U-Haul truck.
In a press release, the Woodland Police Department identified John Choquette, 41, as the suspect. Choquette was stopped by officers at around 2:30 AM leaving the 500 block of N. East Street following a report of a possible catalytic converter theft from a U-Haul truck.
Officers had received a description of the suspect vehicle, which matched the one driven by Choquette. Upon stopping the vehicle, officers discovered a 72” TV on the roof and a storage container containing Christmas ornaments and a surround sound system for the TV inside (pictured right).
A pair of bolt cutters were also found in the vehicle, police said.
Officers also examined the U-Haul and discovered that the lock on the truck’s rear roll-up door had been cut (pictured left) and items from the truck, including those found in Choquette’s vehicle, had been taken from the inside.
The stolen items were later returned to their owner, police said.
In addition to the theft charges, Choquette was allegedly found to be in possession of methamphetamine and a methamphetamine pipe. He was subsequently arrested and booked at Yolo County jail.
It was unclear at press time whether Choquette had retained a lawyer or whether he was still in custody.
Catalytic converter theft has been on the rise in recent years due to the valuable metals found in the devices. These thefts can result in expensive repairs for the vehicle owners, as well as environmental damage due to the release of pollutants.
Due to this recent rise in catalytic converter thefts, some law enforcement agencies have begun to hold community events in which citizens can have their catalytic converters etched free of charge. This serves as a deterrent for theft; the etching is a clear indicator that the converter was stolen, and catalytic converters marked in such a fashion are much harder to sell on the black market.