Thanksgiving Day Catalytic Converter Thieves Arrested
Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff’s deputies arrested three suspects for thefts of catalytic converters on Thanksgiving. On Thursday, November 25, 2021, at 12:08 a.m., deputies responded to the 400-block of La Lata Place in Buellton for a possible theft that had just occurred. The suspects had fled the area prior to deputies’ arrival in a light-colored sedan.
Deputies canvassed the area and located the suspects and their vehicle at Calor Drive and Terrace Court. When they approach the vehicle, deputies noticed catalytic converters as well as saws and a large vehicle jack in plain view. The vehicle was occupied by three males who were subsequently arrested for the thefts.
The suspects arrested are 25-year-old Javier Luevano of Bakersfield, 21-year-old Christian Luevano of Bakersfield, and 38-year-old Fernando Esparza from Buellton. All three were arrested for conspiracy (felony), vandalism (felony), grand theft (felony), and possession of burglary tools (misdemeanor). Christian Luevano was released without bail pursuant to the local court’s extension of Emergency Rule 4. Javier Luevano was booked for additional charges of possession of a controlled substance (misdemeanor), and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor), and was also released without bail pursuant to the local court’s extension of emergency rule 4. Fernando Esparza remains in custody for these on-view charges as well an outstanding warrant from Ventura County for theft and drug-related charges.
One of the stolen catalytic converters has been returned to the owner and the remainder were stored as evidence and for safekeeping.