SANTA MONICA—Public Information Coordinator for the Santa Monica Police Department, Myesha Morrison indicated in an email to Canyon News that two people have been arrested in connection to a catalytic converter theft on December 9.

The SMPD reported at approximately 2:10 a.m., officers responded to the 2200 block of 22nd Street regarding a Grand Theft Just Occurred radio call. The 911 caller reported that several subjects just removed the catalytic converter from his sister’s 2010 Prius. The suspects fled in two automobiles: a dark blue Honda Accord and a dark green or grey Dodge Charger.

Within minutes, officers located the cars driving in a convoy on Oak Street. Both
vehicles were stopped and the subjects were 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, 23, of Long Beach and Michael Pedraja, 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 inch saw blade, additional 6 inch 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, 21, of
Gardena, with Victor Duarte Macias, 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 details pertaining to the incident or subjects is asked 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-