Julian Encinas, 28, Jacob Leasure, 41, Jason Lemoine, 38, Juan Astorga, 44, and Robert Munoz, 58, have all been arrested in connection to the catalytic converter investigation. Andres Astorga 20, is still wanted at this time. Anyone with information in reference to his whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Odessa Police Department or Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS. More arrests are anticipated and the investigation continues. Please note that a photo of Encinas was not available at the time of this release.
Local law enforcement have recently teamed together and conducted search warrants on several businesses and residences in Ector and Midland Counties. This operation is a result of weeks of investigation into thefts of catalytic converters. There have been five arrests of people committing the thefts and those engaged in selling the stolen converters. More arrests are expected in the coming days and weeks. The Odessa Police Department, Ector County Sheriff's Office, Midland Police Department, and Midland County Sheriff's Office have seized several stolen vehicles and a large quantity of catalytic converters because of today's operation. The investigation is ongoing and each agency has identified numerous other people involved. More details will be released as the case evolves.
Each catalytic converter stolen can cost a person thousands of dollars in repair bills and this problem has affected too many people in our community. Those involved in the actual theft or any form of transactions involving stolen property will be prosecuted. This includes people who buy stolen catalytic converters for profit. The public is encouraged to submit tips to any local agency website, Crime Stoppers, or the Odessa Police Department's new app if they have any information into other suspects involved.
Police | Odessa, TX (odessapd.com)
Ector County Sheriff's Office
Police | Midland, TX - Official Website (midlandtexas.gov)
Sheriff's Office | Midland County, TX