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Three arrested in Buellton for Thanksgiving catalytic converter thefts

BUELLTON, Calif. – Three men were arrested in Buellton for allegedly stealing catalytic converters on Thanksgiving.

Just after midnight, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call on the 400 block of La Lata Place in Buellton for a possible theft.

The suspects had fled the area prior to deputies’ arrival in a light-colored sedan.

Deputies eventually found the vehicle which was occupied by three men. Inside the car were the converters and a large vehicle jack.

The suspects arrested were identified 25-year-old Javier Luevano of Bakersfield, 21-year-old Christian Luevano of Bakersfield, and 38-year-old Fernando Esparza from Buellton.

All three were arrested and face various charges including for conspiracy, vandalism, grand theft and possession of burglary tools.

Two of the men were released without bail due to coronavirus emergency orders. Esparza remains in custody for an outstanding warrant out of ventura county.

One of the stolen catalytic converters has been returned to the owner. The remainder are being held as evidence, the sheriff's office said.

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