Three Merced men were arrested Wednesday morning in Ceres after they were seen stealing catalytic converters from vehicles.
At around 5 a.m. a citizen reported seeing the suspects removing a catalytic converter from beneath a vehicle in the 2400 block of Walter Avenue. The men left in a gold colored sedan as Sgt. Vince Hooper was coming into the area. He spotted the gold colored Honda Civic turn onto Hatch Road from Wallin Way and made a traffic stop as it turned into the CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Hatch Road and Central Avenue. Sgt. Hooper could see two catalytic converters in the back seat of the car as well as cutting tools and a floor jack. The occupants of the vehicle were detained.
When the trunk was searched, police found 11 more converters.
Arrested were Tou Ta Xiong, 28, Mee Xiong, 34, and David Baker, 25, all of Merced. They were each booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of grand theft, vandalism, conspiracy, possession of stolen property, tampering with a vehicle, and violation of probation.
Ceres PD is looking for any additional victims in the area or further evidence. Those who may have been a victim or saw the Merced trio should contact Ceres Police Department at (209) 538-5712 or Detective Jon Vera at (209) 538-5730. Police could also use any surveillance video that depicts any possible criminal activity.