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Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies arrest group of suspects after catalytic converter theft, car chase

GOLETA, Calif. – A group of people suspected of a catalytic converter theft in Goleta was arrested late Monday night after leading officers in a car pursuit that ended in Ventura, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies responded to a report of a possible catalytic converter theft that had occurred around 10 p.m. on the 7300 block of Greensboro Drive in Goletaon Monday, according to Sheriff's Adjutant Rob Minter.

Deputies saw the suspect vehicle, containing four people, fleeing the area upon arrival and attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle, but the suspects didn't yield and "drove at high speeds" onto southbound Highway 101, Minter said.

Deputies started a car chase but terminated it in the area of Highway 101 and La Cumbre Road in Santa Barbara because of safety concerns, he added.

Coastal Patrol deputies in Carpinteria located the car once again and reinstated the pursuit once the car came into their jurisdiction on the highway.

However, those deputies also terminated the pursuit due to "the high speeds and safety concerns," Minter said.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office requested assistance from the Ventura Police Department and the California Highway Patrol as the car fled into Ventura County.

The suspect's car eventually ran into a fixed object in the area of Main Street and Figueroa Street in downtown Ventura, and the four suspects fled the vehicle by foot.

All four suspects, three men and one woman, were then arrested and transported to the Santa Barbara County Main Jail for booking. Deputies found over a half-dozen catalytic converters and theft-related tools in the car upon searching it, according to Minter.

Two of the suspects, one man and one woman, were later released without bail in compliance with the local court's extension of Emergency Rule 4, and the other two were found to have outstanding warrants for their arrests and remained in custody, Minter said.

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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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