Three suspects were taken into custody in relation to catalytic convertor theft on January 31, 2021. The Lodi Police Department posted the story on their Facebook account the same day.
Around 4:52am on January 31, 2021, Lodi’s patrol officers responded to a call at the 200 block of Arcadia Place. Two males had just stolen a catalytic convertor and fled on foot once they were spotted by the owner of the target vehicle. Officers arrived and towed the suspects’ vehicle as a result of the investigation.
The party who had reported the incident earlier that morning had located the suspects around 6:15am, attempting to hide in some bushes around the area of S Stockton St and Mullen Way in Lodi. Officers arrived to take them into custody. The two suspects were identified as Jesus Garcia-Altamarino (35) and Edwin Lopez (24), from Stockton, California. They were arrested and booked for grand theft and conspiracy. Garcia-Altamarino was also found to have several warrants for his arrest.
Search warrants were served at the suspects’ residence, a motel in the 2500 block of Piccoli Rd in Stockton. While Detectives carried out the search warrant, Crystal Ortega (31) was arrested in connection with the crime and ultimately booked for grand theft, conspiracy, and drug charges.
The Lodi Police Department has noted the rise in catalytic converter thefts, as the item can be sold for hundreds of dollars in scrap metal. They have outlined a few tips to protect your property:
- Park in a locked garage if possible. If you do not have a garage, park in a well-lit area.
- Purchase a motion sensor light that covers the area where you park your car.
- Purchase and install protective plates that make it difficult for thieves to steal your catalytic converter.
- Engrave your vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number on the catalytic converter. This should alert honest scrap dealers of the stolen item, and might dissuade thieves.