santamonica.gov – Catalytic Converter Theft Arrest

December 9, 2022 2:07 PM

On December 9, 2022, at approximately 2:10 AM, SMPD officers responded to the 2200 block of 22nd Street regarding a Grand Theft Just Occurred radio call. The 911 caller reported that several subjects had just removed the Catalytic Converter from his sister’s 2010 Prius. The suspects fled into two automobiles: a dark blue Honda Accord and a dark green or gray Dodge Charger.

Within minutes, officers located the cars driving in a convoy on Oak Street. Both vehicles were stopped and the subjects detained without incident. The reporting party was able to positively identify the Honda as having been involved in the commission of the theft. Inside the Honda, occupied by Jose Izguerra Duarte (age 23) of Long Beach and Michael Pedraja (age 19) of Los Angeles, officers located the following property: four catalytic converters from Prius vehicles, a Daytona jack with the handle, a Milwaukee reciprocating saw with a 6” saw blade, additional 6” saw blades, an electric impact driver, and three jack stands. In addition, officers located a replica handgun on the passenger side floorboard.

The lead vehicle, the Charger, was driven by subject Jasenda Argueta (age 21) of Gardena with Victor Duarte Macias (age 19) of Antioch in the passenger seat. Officers located in the vehicle a Milwaukee power tool battery and the handle to a floor jack. During a jail search, officers found in Argueta’s wallet a white, powdered substance preliminarily identified as cocaine.

All four suspects were booked into the Santa Monica Jail for Grand Theft. Argueta was also booked for a Health & Safety Code violation for drug possession.

Anyone with any additional information pertaining to this incident or subjects is encouraged to contact Detective Jauregui at 310-458-8944, the Criminal Investigations Division at 310-458-8451, or the Santa Monica Police Department’s Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310- 458-8426.

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