Allegedly stolen catalytic converters found at two businesses. Photo Submitted
The Highway Patrol announced the arrest of a South County auto dismantler on suspicion of possessing stolen catalytic converters by a task force formed to address the plague of catalytic converter thefts sweeping SLO and Santa Barbara Counties.
According to a CHP news release, at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, the San Luis Obispo Auto Theft Task Force in coordination with the SLO County Sheriff’s Office, SLO District Attorney’s Investigators, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and SLO County Code Enforcement served two search warrants — one in SLO County and one in Santa Maria.
The business location, identified as Sammy’s Auto Dismantling, a wrecking yard located on Gasoline Alley on the Nipomo Mesa, and Lua’s home in Santa Maria on West Harding Street.
The CHP said numerous catalytic converters were found at both locations, 14 in all. They also found a U-Haul tow dolly trailer they suspect was also stolen.
Lopez Lua was arrested on suspicion of purchasing stolen catalytic converters. He posted $80,000 bail bond and has been released pending trial.