For Immediate Release
Date: January 28, 2021 11:45 AM
Case Number: SR21-00639
Catalytic Converter Theft Suspects Drive at Officer, Suspects Arrested
San Rafael, CA – On 01/28/2021, in the early morning hours, Jose Miguel Lopez Munoz, a 33-year-old Oakland resident, Nicolas Antonio Murillo, a 44-year-old Oakland resident, and Oscar Humberto Zavala, a 29-year-old Oakland resident, were arrested on felony theft and conspiracy charges. A fourth suspect Anayeli Vega Gonzalez, an 18-year-old Oakland resident, was also arrested for the same felony theft charges along with assault on an officer with a deadly weapon.
At 1:14 AM, officers were called to the unit block of Elizabeth Way on a report that a suspicious vehicle had been driving up and down the street with three subjects who appeared to be breaking vehicle windows and stealing items from them. Officers arrived on the scene within minutes and located the suspect vehicle driving away from the scene.
The officer followed behind the vehicle as it began to speed up to get away. The vehicle drove into a cul-de-sac and stopped at the dead end. The officer exited his police car to contact the suspects in the vehicle. The vehicle then made a sudden U-turn and drove at the officer. The officer was able to get out of the way as he ran to the rear of his police car to avoid being struck.
At the same time, a K-9 officer was arriving on the scene to assist with the car stop. The fleeing vehicle swerved to avoid the approaching police car and crashed into a parked vehicle. The suspects exited their crashed vehicle and were taken into custody. Officers noticed that the suspect vehicle contained catalytic converters and the tools needed to remove them from vehicles.
Additional officers canvased the surrounding area and located vehicles that had the catalytic converts removed from them.
The suspects were taken to the San Rafael Police Department for questioning. Jose Miguel Lopez Munoz, Nicolas Antonio Murillo, and Oscar Humberto Zavala were issued citations for felony 487(a)PC - Grand Theft, 496(a)PC – Possession of Stolen Property, and 182(a)(1)PC – Conspiracy to Commit a Crime.
Anayeli Vega Gonzalez, the driver of the vehicle, was booked into the Marin County Jail due to the severity of the additional felony charges of 245(c)PC – Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Police Officer and 2800 VC – Evading an Officer.
No one was injured in this incident. The case has been forwarded to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office for review and prosecution.
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Posted: January 28, 2021 11:48 PST by Sergeant Justin Graham #494