Suspected catalytic converter thieves from Bakersfield arrested in Ventura

Crime Watch

VENTURA, Calif. (KGET) — Three Bakersfield residents were arrested in connection with stealing catalytic converters in Ventura, police said.

Officers were contacted Wednesday evening in the parking lot of a Lowe’s where witnesses said two men used a saw to remove a catalytic converter from a pickup truck, according to the Ventura Police Department. The men entered a vehicle and drove away before officers arrived.

Police searched the surrounding area, located and pulled over the suspect vehicle and detained three people, according to the department. Two catalytic converters and burglary tools were found inside the vehicle.

Abel Mendoza, 25, and Jose Avelardes, 34, were arrested on suspicion of possession of burglary tools, grand theft, vandalism and conspiracy, police said. Kristina Lavidas, 31, was arrested on outstanding warrants and on suspicion of providing false identification to a peace officer.

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