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Napa law enforcement nabs second group of catalytic converter theft suspects

  • Updated

After an epidemic of catalytic converter thefts from parked vehicles this fall, Napa County Sheriff's deputies have made arrests in two cases — one last Friday and another one Monday night. 

Monday's incident started with a report to Napa Police just before 8 p.m. from a resident on the 1600 block of Silverado Trail who said they had caught suspects attempting to steal the catalytic converter from their vehicle.

The suspects fled the scene in an older Chevrolet Suburban, but were pulled over by sheriff's deputies on Highway 29 at Airport Boulevard, police said. 

Police said saws and other power tools were found inside the SUV, as well as a catalytic converter sitting on the rear passenger seat. 

Officers booked Froilan Cesar Mendez, 49 of Richmond, and Seth Victor Goepfert, 42, of San Pablo into the Napa County jail for possible charges of grand theft, receiving stolen property and vehicle tampering.

Goepfert initially told police that his name was Jason Flud, but his true identity was determined by his fingerprints, police said.

In early December, Napa police reported an epidemic of catalytic converter thefts — 37 over three months inside the city limits.

These pollution control devices contain precious metals and can be worth $100 to $500 on the black market. 

Police advise vehicle owners to park inside whenever possible, park in well-lit areas outside, park close to building entrances and busy roads, consider adding video surveillance to where you park and engrave the vehicle’s VIN on the converter to assist in identifying the part if stolen.

WATCH NOW: RN AT ADVENTIST HEALTH ST. HELENA GETS HER COVID-19 VACCINATION

Adventist Health St. Helena began vaccinating its ICU staff Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. Captured here: Monica Flores, 26, of Napa, is the first person to receive her vaccination. Flores, a Registered Nurse, was deployed to New York City in the early spring, when the pandemic was at its worst there.

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