Police Arrest Three Suspects After Chase

Police investigating the attempted theft of a catalytic converter in Burbank early Thursday arrested three suspects who led them on a high-speed pursuit during which an officer was injured in a crash.

The suspects, two men and one minor boy of Los Angeles — ages 20, 18, and 17 — were booked on suspicion of “multiple felonies,” according to the Burbank Police Department.

The suspects are preliminarily scheduled to appear in court on Monday, and charges are pending review by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, police said.

At about 5:15 a.m. Thursday morning, Officers were sent to the 300 block of North Avon Street “regarding a theft of a catalytic converter in progress,” police said.

“The victim provided officers with a description of the suspects and associated vehicles,” police said.

According to police reports, officers arrived at the scene of the crime in less than 60 seconds and located the suspects fleeing in two separate vehicles: a gray Dodge Challenger and a white Cadillac CTS.

The vehicles sped away north on Avon Street, where the driver of the Dodge “intentionally collided with a responding police vehicle,” police said.

The assault caused significant damage to the police vehicle and injured the officer, who is receiving treatment, police said.

Following the crash, the driver and passenger exited the Dodge, entered the Cadillac, and the suspects fled, police said.

Officers attempted to stop the Cadillac, but the driver refused, leading police on a pursuit. The driver of the vehicle committed numerous traffic violations and reached high speeds as he continued through the city of Burbank, according to police.

Officers chased the Cadillac at “high speeds” through the city before the vehicle stopped at Magnolia Boulevard and Mariposa Street, where the three occupants got out and ran, police said.

A short foot pursuit ensued, and the officers quickly apprehended two of the suspects. A perimeter was established, and the third suspect was apprehended.

The officer was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been examined, treated and released.

“Searches of both suspect vehicles resulted in the recovery of a handgun and evidence further indicating the suspects were involved in the crime of stealing catalytic converters,” police said.

Detectives are investigating whether the same suspects committed similar crimes in Burbank and other surrounding cities, police said.

During the search for the suspects, area residents were advised to lock their doors and be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise in Burbank in recent years, according to police. Police said catalytic converters can cost the victim at least $1,000 to replace.

“It is the policy of the Burbank Police Department to permit pursuits only when the necessity of immediate apprehension of a violator of law outweighs the degree of danger created by the pursuit, and only when conducted in compliance with Department policy and applicable laws,” Fekety told the Leader. 

— City News Service contributed to this report.

First published in the May 13 print issue of the Burbank Leader.