MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A pair of catalytic converter thieves were caught in the act, according to the Merced Police Department.

On Wednesday, around 3:11 p.m., police say a bystander noticed a gold car behind a parked delivery truck.

The bystander noticed a man get tools out of the car and crawl under the truck and allegedly started cutting off the catalytic converter, according to police.

An officer on patrol in the area pulled up as the suspect was coming out from under the vehicle.

Police say they arrested the man who they identified as 33-year-old Ricardo Cendeja, as well as the driver of the car, 43-year-old Rosary Medlin.

A Sawzall, gloves, and a bag were all found under the van, and the catalytic converter was cut but not completely removed, according to police.

Cendeja was booked for two felony warrants and theft-related charges, and Medlin was booked on theft-related charges, according to officials.

Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Officer L Garcia at (209) 388-7749 or by email at, case number 22-30794.