Porterville Police has arrested a man of trying accused of recent catalytic converter thefts.

Andres Garcia-Aguilar, 35 of Porterville, was arrested.

On Wednesday, at approximately 8 a.m., detectives from the Porterville Police's General Investigations Unit began investigating recent catalytic converter thefts, the most recent of which occurred on Monday and Tuesday at two separate locations in Porterville. During the first theft, security video surveillance was obtained, which depicted a dark gray Chevrolet Silverado.

During the second theft, the victim observed two subjects under her vehicle using a sawzall-type tool to cut her catalytic converter while another subject was waiting in a gray Chevrolet Silverado. A photo of the suspect vehicle, which included the license plate number, and of the suspect waiting inside was obtained. The suspects fled without completing the theft.

Detectives were able to obtain further information for the owner and driver of the vehicle, which led them to a residence in Woodville. During surveillance, the suspect vehicle was seen traveling toward the Porterville area.

Detectives initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver and sole occupant, Garcia-Aguilar. Garcia-Aguilar was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and had felony and misdemeanor warrants.

Detectives located several sawzall blades and other items of evidential value inside the vehicle Garcia-Aguilar was driving. Garcia-Aguilar was arrested and taken to the Porterville Police Department for further investigation.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence in Woodville, where Garcia-Aguilar resided with his girlfriend. Detectives were able to obtain further information, stating Garcia-Aguilar was involved in the thefts and when he was interviewed, he provided a statement confirming his involvement.

Garcia-Aguilar was subsequently booked at the Tulare County Sheriff's Office South County Detention Facility for attempted grand theft, grand theft, conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia, and for his arrest warrants. He's being held in lieu of $147,500 bail.

This investigation is ongoing with additional arrests anticipated. Anyone with information regarding the theft of catalytic converters is encouraged to contact Detective Rodriguez at (559) 782-7400. 

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