'Catalytic converter theft ring': 3 Los Angeles men arrested in Ventura County

Three Los Angeles men have been arrested after allegedly stealing catalytic converters according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. 

Police say they responded to calls about a catalytic converter theft early Wednesday morning in the 1000 block of King Street in Fillmore. One witness told officers that they saw two cars they described as "suspicious" driving away from the scene. Police stopped one of the suspected vehicles shortly after. 

In that car, they found Luis Zepeda, 36, Ernesto Carbajal, 31, and Pedro Martinez, 32, all from Los Angeles. Officers say they found the men in possession of burglary tools, floor jacks and illegal drugs, and that two of them had outstanding warrants in Los Angeles County. 

Courtesy Ventura County Sheriff's Department


Detectives say they believe the three men are part of a catalytic converter theft ring based out of Los Angeles, due to the fact that their investigation found at least four other catalytic converter theft victims in the same area. Detectives also believe the second car described at the scene Wednesday morning is involved. That car was not located.

Zepeda, Carbajal and Martinez were all arrested and charged with grand theft, possession of burglary tools, conspiracy to commit a crime, and possession of methamphetamines. Bail for each of them has been set at $250,000. They'll face a judge on April 4.

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