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Suspected Catalytic Converter Thieves Arrested In San Mateo

SAN MATEO (CBS SF) -- A 911 call to San Mateo police Wednesday evening led to a traffic stop and the arrests of a pair of alleged catalytic converter thieves.

San Mateo police said Samuel Gonzalez and Jose Guerrero Ramirez, both 33-years-old and from San Pablo, were cited Thursday on possession of stolen property and other counts. Due to COVID-19 protocols, they were not booked into San Mateo County Jail and were instead issued citations to appear in court.

catalytic convert arrests
San Mateo police arrest a catalytic converter theft suspect. (San Mateo Police Department)

According to investigators, officers were dispatched to a reported theft of a catalytic converter in the 700 block of S. Claremont St. at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday.

A witness called 911 dispatch after hearing the sound of a saw outside his business and witnessed a subject removing a catalytic converter while another subject remained in a vehicle. The caller was able to provide a description of the suspects' vehicle and the two occupants to officers.

Within minutes the catalytic converter was removed. The suspects then fled in a dark-colored Honda getaway car southbound on S. Claremont St.

A San Mateo officer immediately located the vehicle traveling southbound on S. B St. and conducted a high-risk traffic stop. Both the driver -- identified as Ramirez -- and the passenger -- identified as Gonzalez -- were safely removed from the vehicle. An in-field line-up was conducted, and both were positively identified.

catalytic converter
Evidence seized in catalytic converter thefts. (San Mateo Police Department)

During a search of the vehicle, two catalytic converters were located along with two Sawzall's, additional saw blades, a car jack, drug paraphernalia and suspected methamphetamine.

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