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Woman Wanted for Robbery and Felony Hit and Run, Arrested for Catalytic Converter Theft in Santa Monica

SMPD arrests two couples for rounding up catalytic converters early Friday morning 4/15 near Harvard Street and Colorado Blvd.

Two men and two women were arrested for catalytic converter theft near Colorado Blvd and Harvard Avenue in Santa Monica. The four were booked for Grand Theft Conspiracy.

The theft of catalytic converters has become a serious problem in California. The thieves fence the anti smog devices at scrap metal yards, which pay up to $300 for the semi precious metals inside, which include palladium and rare earths. Replacing them can cost more than $3000 for the vehicle owner.

One suspect, later identified as Aleisha Lee Jasmine Schmitz, said her name was Alexandra Garcia, to avoid being booked on a warrant for Felony Hit and Run.

"During the booking process Garcias' true identity was discovered via Live Scan fingerprints and her true name is Schmitz, Aleisha Lee Jasmine a 24-year-old from Bellflower," wrote Police Lt. Rudy Flores

"Schmitz was found to have an active no-bail Robbery and Felony Hit and Run warrant for her arrest. False Impersonation was added to her charges."

The original press release from SMPD reads as follows: On April 15, 2022, at approximately 3:00 AM, Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) Patrol Officers responded to a report of catalytic converter theft in the 1500 block of Harvard. TheReportingParty(RP)indicated that he was awoken by the sounds of power tools and grinding. The RP believed he witnessed a group of individuals steal a catalytic converter and were now leaving in a gray Tahoe SUV.

SMPD Officers located the suspect vehicle, conducted a traffic stop and contacted the four occupants. During the course of their investigation, SMPD officers located numerous power saws, a vehicle jack, two-way radios, masks, and other miscellaneous tools. Officers recovered the stolen catalytic converter hidden in between two vehicles. The Tahoe SUV was towed, all the burglary tools were booked into evidence, and the four suspects were arrested then transported to the Santa Monica Police Jail. They were booked on the following charges:

• Jesus Guerrero 33-year-old male from Pacoima - Grand Theft, Conspiracy and Driving with a Suspended License.

• Alexandra Garcia 27-year-old female from San Fernando – Grand Theft and Conspiracy

• Jesse Gonzalez 36-year-old male from San Fernando - Grand Theft, Conspiracy and

Possession of Opiates

• Samantha Loaiza 29-year-old from San Fernando – Grand Theft, Conspiracy and Providing

False ID to Police

Anyone with any additional information pertaining to this incident is strongly encouraged to contact the Detective Bureau at 310-458-8451 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8426.


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