Man’s arrest highlights ongoing problem with catalytic converter thefts

Roland Ramirez, 36, facing charges in San Antonio case

An arrest in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of car parts from a South side auto dealership is highlighting an ongoing problem.

SAN ANTONIO – An arrest in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of car parts from a South side auto dealership is highlighting an ongoing problem.

San Antonio police took Roland Ramirez, 36, into custody Monday.

He is accused of stealing catalytic converters and causing damage to vehicles at South Point Automotive to the tune of more than $18,000.

An arrest warrant affidavit says he went to the property on two different days in December, then went to work underneath some of the vehicles.

It says during the first theft, he spent about two hours on the car lot and got away with the catalytic converters from eight vehicles.

During the second incident, San Antonio police officers showed up and took him into custody.

According to the affidavit, Ramirez admitted what he was doing.

It says investigators also found evidence that he had sold one of the catalytic converters to a metal recycler.

Steve Acosta, who manages an automotive repair business, told KSAT 12 News back in January that the car parts are valuable.

“The reason they’re so expensive is there’s precious metals that are inside of them, such as platinum and stuff like that,” he said.

Acosta works at Quality Care Automotive in Universal City.

He said that business was among several victims of this same sort of theft in that area.

Police departments in Kerrville, Alamo Heights and Windcrest also had reports earlier this year of catalytic converters thefts.

A spokesman for the Kerrville Police Department says his agency has been comparing notes with SAPD, but he is not sure if they are looking at Ramirez as a possible suspect in their cases.

At this time, the only charge against Ramirez stems from the thefts in San Antonio.

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About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.