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3 suspected catalytic converter thieves arrested in Buellton

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Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 00:01:54-05

Three people were arrested in Buellton on Thanksgiving Day on suspicion of stealing several catalytic converters.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's officials say deputies were called to the 400 block of La Lata Place shortly after midnight on November 25 for a report of a possible theft. The suspects had reportedly fled the area in a light-colored sedan before deputies arrived.

While canvassing the area, sheriff's officials say deputies spotted the suspects and their vehicle at Calor Drive and Terrace Court.

Deputies said catalytic converters, saws, and a large vehicle jack were in plain view when they approached the car to investigate.

Three people were taken into custody. Javier Luevano, 25, and Christian Luevano, 21, of Bakersfield, and Fernando Esparza, 38, of Buellton face charges of conspiracy, vandalism, grand theft, and possession of burglary tools.

Sheriff's officials say one of the catalytic converters has been returned to its owner. The rest are being stored as evidence.