Aug 8 2019

Suspected Catalytic Converter Thieves Apprehended in Piedmont

A series of catalytic converter thefts have targeted Toyota Prius vehicles throughout the Bay Area.  During an investigation by the Berkeley Police Department (BPD), detectives identified a suspect vehicle and placed an alert for other law enforcement agencies to stop and detain the vehicle if found.

On the afternoon of August 7th,  the Piedmont Police Department spotted  the vehicle  – a white Nissan Pathfinder – having been alerted by the ALPR camera on Windsor Avenue.   Piedmont PD officers detained the vehicle and its occupants on Highland Avenue, alerting detectives from the Berkeley PD, who came to Piedmont taking custody of the suspects.

After further investigation, detectives arrested two men on suspicion of grand theft, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools.


  • Briana Nicole Crisp, Female, 37 years old, address unknown
  • Mauricio Romeo Navarrete, Male, 47 years old, Oakland, CA

A reciprocating saw, a tool police believe was used to remove catalytic converters, was found in the suspects’ car.

The investigation into the theft of catalytic converters remains active.  No catalytic converters were recovered, said Officer Byron White, a BPD spokesman.

There may be more suspects involved in these thefts.  If anyone has any information about the investigation, please contact Berkeley PD’s Property Crimes Unit at 510/981-5737 or the Piedmont Police Department at 510/420-3000.

The catalytic converter is a part of a vehicle’s exhaust pipe that’s responsible for reducing emissions. It can be removed from under some cars in a matter of seconds.

Drivers of vulnerable Prius vehicles have been advised to park their vehicle in a garage or well-lit area whenever possible.

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