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January 18, 2022

Watsonville police nab catalytic converter thieves

WATSONVILLE—Watsonville police on Nov. 19 arrested a couple from Stockton after they were caught in the act of stealing the catalytic converter from a vehicle parked on the 500 block of Manzana Street.

According to the Watsonville Police Department, a resident saw Jasmine Sahota and Erasmo Contreras trying to cut the catalytic converter off of their neighbor’s van and called 911.

The suspects left the area in a red sedan, but minutes later a WPD officer stopped them.

Police say Sahota, 32, was driving the car while Contreras, 33, was found lying down in the backseat with a cordless saw next to him and a floor jack by his feet. A catalytic converter that had been cut off a car was also found on the rear seat floorboard.

Officers matched up that recovered catalytic converter to a vehicle that was parked on the 500 block of Secoya Street.

Neither suspect was in custody later that day, jail records showed.

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