Catalytic converter ring busted by East Bay police


LIVERMORE, Calif. (KRON) – Livermore police have announced the arrest of dozens of people allegedly connected to the theft and sale of catalytic converters across California.

Starting in January, officers began an 11-month investigation after a Livermore resident was able to give a description of a suspect and partially provide their license plate number while they stole a converter.

Police were able to locate the suspect four days after the initial report of suspicious activity by the resident, but continued the investigation, knowing that the particular crime was gaining popularity in the region.

The Livermore Police Department and Pleasanton Police Department created a specialized task force to pursue the investigation. 

Over the next seven months, including two months committed full-time to the investigation, the task force, which consisted of four police officers and two sergeants, developed leads that led them to three different counties and out of the state.

30 suspects were taken into custody, with an additional 50 intact intact catalytic converters, $91,000 in cash, illegal weapons, drugs and stolen vehicles seized by police on October 25 when they served a search warrant in Stockton. Multiple “chop shops” were also shut down, with evidence showing showing hundreds of catalytic converters had been dismantled after being dropped off at the locations.

The investigation further revealed that thieves would steal catalytic converters throughout California and Oregon and drop them at the Stockton location and a location in Placer County.

The task force also learned that several suspects connected to the criminal theft ring were arrested for catalytic converter thefts and were bailed out of jail by other suspects associated with this theft ring. Once bailed out, they immediately went back to committing thefts.

The investigation is ongoing as the task force is still seeking arrest warrants for others involved.  

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