Abandoned catalytic converters
Catalytic Converter Thieves Arrested in Santa Barbara
Three Burglars of Car Parts Are Caught Red-Handed
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The recent scare of stolen catalytic converters in Santa Barbara has kept citizens and police alike alert of such thefts. And in the early hours of Tuesday morning, that vigilance paid off: three thieves were caught in the act.
At about 3:16 a.m. on July 29, Santa Barbara police officers responded to a call reporting that people had been fiddling with the exhaust system of a Toyota 4-Runner in the 200 block of Mohawk Drive. When officers arrived, they saw a red vehicle parked and still running next to the Toyota and a person walking away from another 4-Runner parked nearby.
Francisco Gegan Torres, 33
The person got into the car and began driving as soon as he saw the police, but officers soon stopped the vehicle, then arrested all three men in the car. It appeared that the men had already had a busy night - officers found five converters in the trunk, along with the necessary burglary tools.
Jose Eduardo Elvir, 26
Police arrested Los Angelenos Jose Eduardo Elvir, 26, and Rafael Perez Marquez, 20, along with Francisco Gegan Torres, 33, from Las Vegas. Elvir was admitted to Santa Barbara County Jail (SBCJ) for grand theft, possession of burglary tools, possession of stolen property, conspiracy, giving false information to a peace officer, and violation of parole. Torres and Marquez were also admitted to SBCJ for grand theft, possession of burglary tools, possession of stolen property, and conspiracy.
Rafael Perez Marquez, 20