Three Stockton men were arrested in Newark early Sunday morning after attempting to steal catalytic converters, police said.
According to the Newark Police Department, a resident reported someone trying to steal a catalytic converter from under his neighbor’s car at about 5:30 a.m., not knowing that his had just been stolen from his vehicle as well.
The suspects left the area in a minivan but were located by an officer nearby.
Inside the minivan were 24 freshly cut catalytic converters, various pipe-cutting tools and meth pipes, police said.
Jim Aing, 27; Bobby Onesavanh, 26; and Rhota Vin, 23, all from Stockton, were arrested on suspicion of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Catalytic converters, which are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system, are popular among thieves because of their value, ease to steal and lack of identifying markings, Newark police said in an advisory earlier this year.
Recycler pay anywhere between $50 and $250 for the metals inside the car part and it can cost an average of $1,000 to replace them, police said.
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If you have been a victim of catalytic converter theft, contact the Newark Police Department at 510-578-4237.