Photo: Stock Image
In terms of the effort and risk involved in crawling under parked cars in the dead of night and hastily operating a metal-cutting power saw, there must either be a sense of reckless thrill-seeking behind it all or a perceived opportunity to turn a particular purloined car part into serious cash.
The motive is indeed serious cash, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. David Boynton. With “eight reported catalytic converter thefts” occurring in a 48-hour period between October 31 st and November 2 nd , the citizen report of “two Hispanic males attempting to steal a catalytic converter at 4:45 a.m. brought patrol deputies to the scene with all due alacrity.
With witness reports of a suspect vehicle, deputies quickly located and stopped a “white two-door sedan” occupied by Los Angeles residents 35-year-old Alfonso Godinez Zacarias and 35-year-old Carlos Salgado. A brief search of their car led to the discovery of “burglary tools, a floor jack, and two catalytic converters,” as well as to the fact that both men were wanted on “outstanding warrants our of Orange County.”
Both Salgado and Zacarias were taken into custody and transported to Ventura County Jail, where they were booked on charges of grand theft, possession of burglary tools, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Both men are believed to be “part of a catalytic converter theft ring out of the City of Los Angeles” and remain in custody on a no-bail hold.