SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) – Police in San Rafael made four arrests in connection with a string of catalytic converter thefts targeting several vehicles early Thursday morning.

Officers said they responded to Elizabeth Way around 1:15 a.m. after reports of a suspicious vehicle with three people who appeared to be breaking into vehicles. When they arrived, they found the suspects driving away from the scene.

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When the suspects wound up in a dead end, an officer walked towards their vehicle, but police said the driver made a sudden U-turn towards the officer. The officer was able to get out of the way and avoid injury.

Police said the fleeing vehicle then crashed into a parked car as another officer arrived on scene. The suspects were then taken into custody.

A search of the suspect’s vehicle yielded multiple catalytic converters and tools needed to remove the valuable parts.

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Catalytic converters and tools seized by San Rafael Police on January 28, 2021. (San Rafael Police Department)

Catalytic converters and tools seized by San Rafael Police on January 28, 2021. (San Rafael Police Department)

Three of the suspects, 33-year-old Jose Miguel Lopez Munoz, 44-year-old Nicolas Antonio Murillo and 29-year-old Oscar Humberto Zavala were taken to the department for questioning. Police said they were issued citations for felony grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy.

The fourth suspect and driver, identified as 18-year-old Anayeli Vega Gonzalez, was booked into Marin County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and evading an officer. Gonzalez also faces the same felony theft charges.

It was not immediately known when the suspects would appear in court.

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Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the San Rafael Police Department at 415-485-3000 or online at http://www.srpd.org/tips.