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Catalytic Converter Suspects Arrested After Pursuit

Goleta, Calif. – Sheriff’s deputies have arrested three men and one woman for numerous violations including thefts of catalytic converters as the result of an assist from an attentive citizen. On Monday, June 13, 2022, at approximately 10:00 p.m., deputies assigned to the Goleta Valley Patrol Bureau were dispatched to a report of a possible catalytic converter theft that had just occurred in the 7300 block of Greensboro Dr. in the City of Goleta. Deputies arrived shortly thereafter and located the suspect vehicle fleeing the area.

Deputies conducted a traffic stop but the suspects failed to yield and drove at high speeds onto Southbound Highway 101. Deputies initiated a vehicle pursuit but later terminated it in the area of Highway 101 at La Cumbre Rd. due to safety concerns.  Coastal Patrol Deputies in the City of Carpinteria located and reinitiated pursuit when the suspect vehicle entered their jurisdiction on the highway. Those deputies ended up terminating their pursuit as well due to the high speeds and safety concerns.  As the suspects fled into Ventura County, the Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Ventura Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.

The suspect vehicle later collided with a fixed object in the area of Main Street and Figueroa Street in downtown Ventura and four suspects fled the vehicle.  Deputies responded and with the assistance of the allied agencies, apprehended all suspects and transported them to the Santa Barbara County Main Jail for booking. During a search of the vehicle, deputies located over a half dozen catalytic converters and theft related tools.

Deputies booked Los Angeles residents 32-year-old Saul Tamayo, 37-year-old Wilber Rabanales, 32-year-old Pedro Martinez and 33-year-old Edith Godinez for violations of grand theft (felony), fleeing/eluding law enforcement (felony), hit and run (felony) and conspiracy (felony). Tamayo and Rabanales were also found to have outstanding warrants for their arrests. All subjects were booked at the Main Jail where Martinez and Godinez were later released without bail in compliance with the local court’s extension of Emergency Rule 4.

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