Crime - Sacto 911

Rebar protected catalytic converter stymies theft in Roseville

The owner of a pickup thwarted three suspected thieves in Roseville when he welded a piece of metal rebar across his catalytic converter.

Roseville police said a citizen phoned police to report that somebody was underneath his neighbor’s pickup in the 1200 block of Donahue Way at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. While the witness stayed on the line with police dispatchers, officers swooped in.

Three people were detained while officers searched their car, finding methamphetamine and tools that could be used in a burglary. They also found that the nuts securing the catalytic converter in place had been removed -- but the catalytic converter was still on the truck.

It seems that the pickup owner had previously had one of the air pollution control devices stolen. To prevent another theft, he had welded a piece of rebar, a steel bar used in reinforcing concrete, across the new catalytic converter to make it more difficult to steal. It worked.

Police arrested Banny Lo, 33, of Sacramento, Tara Lee Chrystal, 31, of Citrus Heights and Julie Lee, 29 of Rancho Cordova on suspicion of attempted burglary.

Police say that four businesses in Roseville offer free catalytic converter marking and etching by appointment: Roseville Toyota and AutoNation in the Roseville automall, Bill McAnally's Napa Autocare, 900 Riverside Ave. and Firestone, 8051 Washington Blvd.

Roseville Toyota and partnering muffler shops will weld rebar on the converter assembly for a fee, according to a police spokeswoman.