A suspect accused of theft of catalytic converters was arrested, Porterville Police stated on Friday.

Jose Mendoza, 39 of Porterville, was arrested. Over the past few months, Porterville has experienced a significant increase in the theft of catalytic converters, Porterville Police stated. “Officers and Detectives have been actively working investigative leads to identify the suspects involved in these thefts,” the department stated.

During the course of these investigations, Officers were able to identify Mendoza as one of the suspects involved in the theft of catalytic converters. Mendoza was identified while driving a late-model white Mercedes Benz, which was recently spray painted green.

On Thursday, Officers spotted the vehicle in question being driven by Mendoza in the area of Garden Avenue and Plano Street and initiated a traffic stop. Mendoza was contacted and arrested without incident and was transported to the Porterville Police Department, where Detectives assumed the investigation. During the investigation, Detectives were able to identify Mendoza as the suspect in four additional catalytic converter thefts that occurred within ]Porterville.

Mendoza was booked at the Tulare County Sheriff’s South County Detention Facility on four counts of Grand Theft. A bail deviation was granted for Mendoza in the amount of $200,000.

The case is still under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Porterville Police Department, (559) 782-7400.

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