Three people were arrested early Friday and are likely suspects in a series of catalytic converter thefts in the city, according to Escalon Police.
In the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 12, Officer Sharp saw a vehicle driving in the area of First Street and Baker Avenue. The vehicle entered the Vintage Park Apartments and parked in an apparent attempt to evade the officer, according to the police report. Officer Sharp exited the apartments but remained in the area to monitor the vehicle. A few minutes later, the vehicle exited the apartment complex. Officer Sharp then conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle for displaying false tags.
The vehicle was being driven by a woman identified as Angelica Caballero Ortiz, 29, from Stockton. Also in the vehicle were subjects identified by police as Tyler Biesmans, 25, Stockton, and Christopher Dixon, 38, also from Stockton.
Police said Ortiz did not possess a valid license and there were tools in the vehicle commonly used to steal catalytic convertors. All three subjects provided inconsistent statements about what they were doing at the apartments. The subsequent investigation revealed that they were not being truthful.
All three subjects were arrested and booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on various charges, including conspiracy to commit grand theft, possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police had, earlier this month, put out a notice regarding the ongoing catalytic converter thefts, which have been occurring in many area communities.
The notice indicated: “Escalon, along with neighboring cities, have been seeing a steep uptick in catalytic convertor thefts. These thefts are generally occurring in the early morning hours. If you see suspicious vehicles driving around neighborhoods in the late evenings or early mornings, please call the Escalon Police Department at 209-838-7093 to report it.”
While police reported the three arrests and indicated tools in the vehicle were consistent with the converter thefts, they urge residents to continue to be watchful and report any suspicious activity in their neighborhood.