First published in the Aug. 6 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
A Burbank Police officer stopped a vehicle near Buena Vista Street and Winona Avenue on July 29 at about 2:50 a.m. because the car did not have a front bumper or license plate, in violation of the California Vehicle Code.
The officer spoke with the driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle and observed the front bumper in the man’s rear seat. During the conversation, the driver told the officer he was on probation for transporting drugs from Mexico into California.
During a search of the vehicle, officers located nine catalytic converters, all of which showed signs of damage on both of their ends — an indication that the car part had been cut from vehicles.
The suspect has been identified as 33-year-old Erick Becerra, a resident of Stockton. Becerra was arrested and booked for grand theft, a felony.
He has since posted bond and is due to appear in court on Aug. 26. Formal charges are pending review by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.