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Three people arrested for catalytic converter thefts in Carpinteria

21-076 Catalytic Converters, Saws and Jacks.JPG
Posted at 5:44 PM, Jul 08, 2021

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies arrested three people on suspicion of stealing catalytic converters.

On Thursday, at around 2:49 a.m., deputies were dispatched to the 1000-block of Palmetto Way in Carpinteria for a reported theft of a catalytic converter that had just occurred.

The reporting party said they heard what sounded like a saw, recognized that a theft was likely occurring, and called law enforcement to provide a vehicle description and their direction of travel.

Patrol deputies located and stopped a vehicle that matched the description minutes later.

Deputies say there were three people in the car along with two catalytic converters, two reciprocating saws, and two carjacks.

All three of the occupants were from Los Angeles and identified as 39-year-old Rufino Garcia-Vasquez, 37-year-old Gustavo Pineda-Duran, and 34-year-old Samuel Gallegos-Espinoza.

They were each booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail for possession of stolen property, grand theft, conspiracy, and possession of burglary tools.

All three suspects are being held on $1,000,000 bail.