Santa Monica police nab group of suspects in catalytic converter theft

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Monica police nabbed a group of people suspected of stealing a catalytic converter in the middle of the night.

It was all thanks to someone in the 1500 block of Harvard Street who woke up at 3 a.m. Friday morning to the sounds of power tools.

The witness told police he saw the group leaving in a gray Tahoe SUV, officials said.

Officers located, stopped and searched the car. A photo released by authorities shows tools, a jack, two-way radios, and other items that were found during the vehicle search.

Officers arrested all four people in the car, two men and two women.

Three of the suspects were identified as 33-year-old Jesus Guerrero of Pacoima, 36-year-old Jesse Gonzalez of San Fernando, 29-year-old Samantha Loaiza of San Fernando.

A fourth suspect was initially identified as 27-year-old Alexandra Garcia of San Fernando, but Santa Monica police say a Live Scan of her fingerprints revealed she was a 24-year-old woman from Bellflower named Aleisha Lee Jasmine Schmitz.

All four face Grand Theft and Conspiracy charges. Guererro was also booked on a charge of driving with a suspended license.

Officials say Schmitz had an active no-bail robbery and felony hit-and-run warrant for her arrest, and false impersonation was added to her charges.

Gonzalez was additionally booked on a charge of possession of opiates, and Loaiza on a charge of providing false identification to police, investigators said.

Officials say they found the stolen catalytic converter hidden between two cars.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Santa Monica police at (310) 458-8451, or the 24-hour Watch Commander line at (310) 458-8426.
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