February 4, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Police Apprehends Group of Catalytic Converter Thieves

Alert witness notified the SMPD after being woken up by the noise in the early morning

On April 15, 2022, at approximately 3:00 AM, Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) Patrol Officers responded to a report of catalytic converter theft in the 1500 block of Harvard. The Reporting Party (RP) indicated that he was awoken by the sounds of power tools and grinding. The RP believed he witnessed a group of individuals steal a catalytic converter and were now leaving in a gray Tahoe SUV.

SMPD Officers located the suspect vehicle, conducted a traffic stop and contacted the four occupants. During the course of their investigation, SMPD officers located numerous power saws, a vehicle jack, two-way radios, masks, and other miscellaneous tools. Officers recovered the stolen catalytic converter hidden in between two vehicles. The Tahoe SUV was towed, all the burglary tools were booked into evidence, and the four suspects were arrested then transported to the Santa Monica Police Jail. They were booked on the following charges:

· Jesus Guerrero 33-year-old male from Pacoima – Grand Theft, Conspiracy and Driving with a Suspended License.

  Aleisha Schmitz  – Grand Theft and Conspiracy

· Jesse Gonzalez 36-year-old male from San Fernando – Grand Theft, Conspiracy and Possession of Opiates

· Samantha Loaiza 29-year-old from San Fernando – Grand Theft, Conspiracy and Providing False ID to Police

Anyone with any additional information pertaining to this incident is strongly encouraged to contact the Detective Bureau at 310-458-8451 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8426.

After the original report was released by the SMPD, it was amended because one of the female suspects gave a false name and the originally named suspected was the victim of the real suspect’s theft of her identity. Here is what the update on the SMPD Facebook said, “Please note the suspect previously listed as Alexandra Garcia is the victim of identity theft. The suspect’s real name is Aleisha Schmitz. She was subsequently charged with false impersonation, along with grand theft and conspiracy. She also has a warrant for robbery and felony hit and run.”

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