Press Releases

Lake Elsinore Station

Posted on: March 4, 2021

Catalytic Converter Theft



Sheriff Chad Bianco

Press Release:Catalytic Converter Theft
Station Area:Lake Elsinore
Written Date:March 4, 2021Time:2:00 PM
Incident Date:March 4, 2021Time:9:30 AM
Incident Location:Several locations in the city of Lake Elsinore
Reporting Officer:Sergeant Jeff Reese
File Number(s):L210630035

Joshua Barragan


In February 2021, the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station Special Enforcement Team (SET), began a theft investigation reference a drastic increase in catalytic converter thefts. During this Investigation, 26-year-old, Joshua Barragan, from Lake Elsinore was identified as a person of interest in the thefts.

On March 4, 2021, Lake Elsinore Station SET members, contacted Barragan after he was observed selling a catalytic converter at a local smog shop in the city of Lake Elsinore. Deputies located several tools associated with the theft of catalytic converters and uncovered evidence of other similar thefts.

Joshua Barragan was transported to Cois Byrd Detention Center and booked on the charges of possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Deputy Chambers or Deputy Wilson at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station (951) 245-3300.

As a reminder for protecting your vehicles from catalytic converter theft please when able park your vehicles in a locked garage, or in a well-lit area, engrave a vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to the catalytic converter; have it welded to the vehicle's frame, making it harder to steal; and install a car alarm that detects vibrations.

As a reminder, "Community Policing" involves partnerships between law enforcement and community members.  Business owners and residents are encouraged to report criminal activity directly to law enforcement by calling Sheriff's Dispatch at (951) 776-1099, or by calling 911 if the matter is an emergency.

For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.

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