Alleged would-be thieves from Bay Area arrested in SLO

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

San Luis Obispo police officers arrested four men from the Bay Area, one of whom had an outstanding FBI warrant, after they were allegedly caught early Friday morning with tools used for stealing catalytic converters.

Shortly before 4 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop in the area of Phillips Lane and Grove Street. When the officer contacted the driver and passengers, he could see in plain view burglary tools and equipment used to remove and steal catalytic converters, according to the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

The officer searched the vehicle and found a loaded 9 mm handgun. Police arrested the driver and three passengers.

Officers booked the driver, 24-year-old Kevin Carranza-Mendieta, in the SLO County Jail on a charge of possession of burglary tools. Cesar Lopez-Martinez, 25, and Daniel Zapata-Bueso, 19, were also charged with possession of burglary tools.

Police booked 26-year-old Mario Cruz-Calix in jail on charges of possession of burglary tools, possession of loaded firearm within a vehicle, possession of a concealed firearm in a public place and having a felony warrant out of San Francisco County for narcotics, as well as an FBI warrant out of San Francisco for narcotics.