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Suspected Catalytic Converter Thieves Nabbed in Rocklin After Alleged Spree

Benjamin Rodriguez, 32; Lee Marvin Nelson, 21; Brandon Leroy Brockl, 21; and Rhota Vin, 23; were arrested Sunday in Rocklin on suspicion of stealing at least a dozen catalytic converters.

Four Stockton residents were arrested in Rocklin Sunday night after what police are calling a spree of catalytic converter thefts.

Arrested on felony theft and conspiracy charges were: Benjamin Rodriguez, 32; Lee Marvin Nelson, 21; Brandon Leroy Brockl, 21; and Rhota Vin, 23.

Rocklin Police say the group tried to steal the catalytic converter from a car at the Century Theater in Rocklin around 7:20 p.m. Sunday, but were caught in the act by the driver returning to his vehicle.

They fled from the area but were spotted on Highway 65 headed toward I-80, according to a press release.

"Officers pulled the vehicle over and one of the passengers jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a creek area near Atlantic Street and Wills Road in Roseville," the press release stated. "The passenger was found by officers hiding in the bushes and was taken into custody. The remaining three suspects in the car surrendered to police."

Police say they found burglary tools and a dozen catalytic converters in the suspects' vehicle. Some were taken from cars parked at a church on Granite Drive in Rocklin, but police think other victims may be outside of Rocklin.

The police department's full press release follows:

Rocklin Police Capture Catalytic Converter Thieves

Four Suspects Arrested Trying to Flee Rocklin after a Catalytic Converter Crime Spree

On Sunday, January 13, 2013, around 7:20 PM, the Rocklin Police Department received a call about a possible theft that had just occurred at the Century Theaters located at 6692 Lonetree Boulevard in Rocklin.  The victim and his friends had just watched a movie at the theater and were returning to their vehicles in the parking lot.  When the victim started his engine remotely using a wireless remote starter on his keychain, he saw several subjects scurry out from under his vehicle.  The subjects quickly got into another vehicle and fled.  The victim obtained a good description of the vehicle and a partial license plate which he reported to Rocklin Dispatch.    

Rocklin police officers responded immediately and began searching the area for the suspect vehicle.  A vehicle matching the description was located by officers on Highway 65, headed out of the Rocklin towards Interstate 80.  Officers pulled the vehicle over and one of the passengers jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a creek area near Atlantic Street and Wills Road in Roseville.  The passenger was found by officers hiding in the bushes and was taken into custody.  The remaining three suspects in the car surrendered to police. 

The officers located burglary tools and stolen property inside the vehicle—including about a dozen catalytic converters.  Around the same time, reports of the thefts had begun streaming into the Rocklin Police Communications Center.  So far, four of the victims have reported their catalytic converters stolen.  The suspects had apparently made their rounds through the Rocklin—including stealing at least two converters from vehicles parked in a church parking lot on Granite Drive. 

Rocklin Police believe there are other victims who may be unaware their catalytic converters have been taken.  All of the suspects arrested were from Stockton, California, so their crime spree could span into multiple jurisdictions.  If you believe you have been a victim of a recent catalytic converter theft, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the Rocklin Police Department. 

ARRESTED:

Benjamin Rodriguez, 32 of Stockton, who is on Parole, was booked on the following charges:

  • Grand Theft (felony)
  • Conspiracy (felony)
  • Possession of Stolen Property (felony)
  • Possession of Burglary Tools (misdemeanor)

Lee Marvin Nelson, 21 of Stockton, was booked on the following charges:

  • Grand Theft (felony)
  • Conspiracy (felony)
  • Possession of Stolen Property (felony)
  • Possession of Burglary Tools (misdemeanor)

Brandon Leroy Brockl, 21 of Stockton, was booked on the following charges:

  • Grand Theft (felony)
  • Conspiracy (felony)
  • Possession of Stolen Property (felony)
  • Possession of Burglary Tools (misdemeanor)

Rhota Vin, 23 of Stockton, was arrested for:

  • Grand Theft (felony)
  • Conspiracy (felony)
  • Possession of Stolen Property (felony)
  • Possession of Burglary Tools (misdemeanor)
  • Resisting arrest (misdemeanor)
OneSmallOpinion January 14, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Yea! One for the good guys.

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