SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two suspected catalytic converter thieves were arrested early Wednesday morning after they led San Diego Police on a short pursuit.
It started just before 1 a.m. when police say they found the men in the act of sawing off a catalytic converter near Monroe Ave. in Normal Heights.
When the suspects spotted the police they got into their SUV and led officers on a chase until the pair crashed into a red Prius parked along the street.
Shortly after they pulled into a parking lot and surrendered, police say.
They were arrested by police, who found the stolen catalytic converter and a saw inside their SUV.
Local authorities say they have seen “a startling increase” in catalytic converter thefts. The thefts often occur “in neighborhoods near main thoroughfares, freeways, or at commercial establishments.”
Stolen converters are then sold “for the precious metals they contain after being stolen,” authorities said.