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Stolen catalytic converters recovered in San Luis Obispo

Two men are facing charges in connection with the thefts
Catalytic converters recovered.jpg
Posted at 2:23 PM, May 27, 2021

Two Merced men were arrested in San Luis Obispo this week in connection with catalytic converter thefts.

San Luis Obispo police say in the early-morning hours on Tuesday, officers responded to the 1800 block of Devaul Ranch Road after someone reported a catalytic converter had just been stolen from a vehicle there.

Police were told the suspect vehicle was a silver Toyota Prius.

A short time later, police say a vehicle matching that description was spotted in the area of Marsh and Higuera streets.

“The officer was able to see in plain view eight catalytic converters in the rear passenger area of the car. The officer also recovered various tools used in the theft on the converters along with suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia,” police said in a press release.

The driver, identified as Vue Xiong, 30, was arrested and booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of possessing stolen property, conspiracy, possessing burglary tools, methamphetamines, narcotics paraphernalia and vehicle tampering.

His passenger, identified as Gary Lee, 26, was arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property and burglary tools, conspiracy and vehicle tampering.

Police say Lee was released from custody “due to the constraints of the State Emergency Bail Schedule” but Xiong remained in custody Thursday afternoon and was being held on $60,000 in warrants from El Dorado and Merced counties.

Investigators on Wednesday said they were able to return the stolen parts to the owners and say they are working to determine whether there are other yet-to-be identified victims within the city.

For more on this story, watch KSBY News Thursday at 5 and 6 p.m.