Resident’s tip helps police nab catalytic converter thieves

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Roseville police arrested four men early Thursday morning in connection with a string of catalytic converter thefts. Police said an alert resident notified police around 3:45 a.m. about two men seen working under a vehicle in the neighborhood of Crocker Ranch Road and Diamond Creek Drive. Police set up a perimeter, searched the area and soon had three suspects in custody, according to Dee Dee Gunther of the Roseville Police Department. A fourth suspect escaped. Jovi Toua Vang, 20, Cai Vang, 19, and Chee Jeff Vang, 20, were arrested and connected with the theft. Inside the suspects’ van, officers found several catalytic converters believed to have been stolen during the night from the Roseville and Rocklin areas, Gunther said. The fourth suspect, Tou Vang, 25, was arrested later Thursday morning in Sacramento. All four men are from Sacramento and were arrested on charges of attempted burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy. Cai Vang also was charged with carrying concealed knife. The Roseville Police Department has been working not only to address metal theft in recent weeks, but also scrap metal recyclers who are operating outside the law and feeding the demand for stolen metal. Roseville police arrested three metal dealers last month either for receiving stolen property or for allegedly violating California’s Business and Profession’s Code by not keeping records of sales. Roseville police have also increased patrols of problem areas where thefts tend to occur. Gunther said, however, it was the phone call from an alert citizen that was instrumental in helping police catch the alleged thieves. “She picked up the phone and called and that made all the difference,” Gunther said. ~ Toby Lewis