LAKE CHARLES, La. – Several people have been arrested accused of stealing catalytic converters.
On May 14 Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO) detectives received a report in reference to a theft of catalytic converter from a local business in Lake Charles. The victim advised detectives the thefts had been occurring for six months, according to a CPSO spokesperson.
During the investigation, detectives conducted surveillance at the business and on multiple occasions observed a van with several people inside on the property late at night. On June 2, deputies located the van in the area of the victim’s business at which time they initiated a traffic stop, stated the spokesperson.
Deputies obtained consent to search the van and located two battery-operated reciprocating saws, numerous spare batteries, several new and used blades used for cutting metal, and a hi-lift jack. During further investigation, it was learned the driver and one of the occupants, Infant Medina, 21, and Guillermo Andres-Urbina, 38, both of Houston, TX, were connected to numerous scrap metal tickets, totaling more than $232,000 for catalytic converters that had been sold for scrap metal.
Medina, Andres-Urbina, along with a 17-year-old juvenile who was also in the van, was arrested. Medina and Andres-Urbina were booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and the juvenile was booked into the Juvenile Detention Center. They are all charged with criminal trespassing; simple criminal damage to property; and theft from $1,000 but less than $5,000. Judge Tony Fazzio set Medina and Andres-Urbina’s bonds at $100,000.
The investigation is continuing.
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