BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Two men are in custody after police discovered an alleged illegal chop shop based in a condemned residence in south Bakersfield, according to a release from the department.
Officers responded to a report of a possible catalytic converter theft in progress Wednesday morning in an uninhabited residence in the 2100 block of Earlene Court, just south of Pacheco Road, BPD said.
Officials said multiple people were located inside the condemned house. An investigation revealed three stolen vehicles, a stolen trailer, multiple stolen catalytic converters and stolen license plates were there.
BPD arrested Jonathan Cotilla-Pina, 34, and Michael Sprenger, 32, both from Bakersfield.
Both men were arrested on suspicion of three counts of stolen vehicle possession, conspiracy, operating a chop shop, auto theft and entering a posted substandard building, the department said.
This marks Cotilla-Pina’s third arrest for auto theft-related charges since October, officials said.
Sprenger was on active post-release community supervision and was arrested for an unrelated felony arrest warrant. This is Sprenger’s fourth auto theft-related arrest since September, the release said.
Both men are being held on $112,500 bail and are scheduled to appear in court on Friday, according to the in-custody inmate booking information page.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact BPD at 661-327-7111.