Huge catalytic converter theft operation busted in Marin County

Bay Area

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Marin County Sheriff’s Deputies found hundreds of catalytic converters after a report of someone cutting up exhaust parts inside a Novato storage unit.

Investigators believe they were stolen.

“Over 300 catalytic converters were recovered, with more than 60 of them being from Toyota Prius’ which have been the prime target of catalytic converter thefts throughout California,” the sheriff’s office said on Friday.

Deputies arrested a Novato couple at the scene, identified as Abner Deleon Cifuentes and Elizabeth Herrera.

The sheriff’s office said the couple is facing charges of charges of possession of stolen property, failure to maintain records related to the purchase or receipt of used catalytic convertors, and operating an auto dismantler without a license.

They executed search warrants on two of their storage units, their home and their vehicle.

During the search, officials said they found receipts that showed the couple was selling catalytic converters to a recycler in Southern California.

“The receipts showed they had sold over 2,500 catalytic converters since January 2021, and received several hundred thousand dollars from those sales,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The investigation has not yet concluded.

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