Six people arrested on suspicion of stealing catalytic converters


Oceanside, CA–Oceanside Police arrested six people on suspicion of stealing catalytic converters from vehicles early Thursday morning in Oceanside, authorities said.

Officers responded to a report of a catalytic converter theft in progress around 2:05 a.m. at the 5000 block of Blackberry Way in Oceanside. 

Officers located two suspect vehicles nearby and attempted to stop them. The suspects failed to yield, and a pursuit was initiated that traveled down State Route 76. When the suspect’s speed escalated, the pursuit was terminated in the interest of public safety. Before the termination of the pursuit, stop sticks had been strategically placed, and the suspect’s vehicles were both successfully disabled. When their vehicles became inoperable near Loretta Street, the suspects fled on foot towards the San Luis Rey Riverbed. Officers contained the area, and with the help of the Oceanside Police Unmanned Aerial System Team, the six suspects were apprehended. They were found to possess two stolen catalytic converters and numerous burglary tools commonly utilized in catalytic converter theft, according to Oceanside Police Department Public Information Officer Jennifer Atenza.

One suspect was a runaway female juvenile and was released to her parents. All adult suspects were booked for grand theft, receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools, and conspiracy to commit a felony. Additionally, one suspect was booked for child endangerment. Conditions were set on the suspect’s bail, which is intended to prevent funds acquired by felony criminal activity from being utilized to post bail. 

The Oceanside Police Department is investigating the incident and seeking additional victims. 

Anyone with information regarding the incident can contact Detective James at (760) 435-4286 or email

On Monday, officers arrested three people involved in catalytic converter thefts from residents’ vehicles. A search of their vehicle was conducted, and nine catalytic converters were found in the trunk, along with cutting tools and a hydraulic jack consistent with the tools utilized in the theft of catalytic converters.

Generally, most people do not do construction work in the late night or early morning hours. The sound of a saw during those times could indicate that theft is occurring in the area, according to the Oceanside Police Department.

Officers advise the public to not attempt to stop thieves. Instead, contact law enforcement and provide a detailed description of the suspects and suspect vehicles. Include, if possible, the suspect’s vehicle plate number, make, model, color, and any distinguishing characteristics such as stickers or damage. 

Residents should park in a garage to secure their vehicles. If not, a well-lit driveway monitored by camera surveillance is the next best option. They may be able to change the settings on their car alarm to go off when vibrations are sensed. 

A muffler shop can weld a rebar cage around converters to keep thieves at bay. Or, purchase a lock designed to go on the converter. 

While these options come with a cost, it outweighs the cost of replacing a converter. Replacing a stolen catalytic converter typically costs victims at least $2000. 

The public should check with their insurance provider regarding deductibles to repair a stolen catalytic converter. Some policies may cover anti-theft device installation or offer a discount on insurance plans for installing a protection device. 

If you hear or see something suspicious, immediately contact the Oceanside Police Department at (760) 435-4911, or for emergency response, dial 9-1-1. 



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