Pleasanton police have reported the arrest of multiple individuals and the break up of a catalytic converter theft ring that started with a tip from an observant citizen.
Stephan James Evanovich, 42, of Elverta was arrested in late October by the Pleasanton PD along with two others from Stockton.
In a statement, Livermore police said that in January 2021 an observant Livermore resident witnessed people acting suspiciously in their area and was able to capture a partial license plate, which they reported to the Livermore Police Department. After responding to the call, officers learned that a catalytic converter theft had occurred.
Over the course of a five-month investigation, Livermore PD “developed substantial investigative leads that led them to three different counties and out of California.”
As a result, LPD and PPD created a full-time joint task force of six officers dedicated to pursuing catalytic converter thefts.
On October 25, LPD, PPD, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Stockton PD, and the California Highway Patrol all served search warrants at three locations in Stockton.
Two suspects were arrested, and authorities recovered 25 catalytic converters along with $91,000 in cash, illegal weapons, and drugs during the search.
On October 26th, Pleasanton and Livermore detectives assisted the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and CHP personnel in searching a residence in Elverta, where one suspect was arrested and 15 additional catalytic converters and five stolen vehicles were recovered.
Evidence was also found “showing hundreds of catalytic converters had been dismantled after being dropped at the chop shops.”
Once the part is stolen, a middleman typically sells it on the black market, where the price can fluctuate from a couple hundred dollars to more than $1,000.
This investigation is ongoing.