NEW BEDFORD (1420 WBSM) — Two New Bedford residents were taken into custody Saturday and charges will be sought for a third for allegedly attempting to steal catalytic converters from parked vehicles in New Bedford’s North End.

According to New Bedford Police, officers responded shortly after midnight on December 3 to reports of a man looking into and under cars with a flashlight in the area of 90 Riverside Avenue.

Officers arrived to find three people inside a car in the parking lot, including Luis Miguel Santiago, 24, of New Bedford, whom they say matched the description of the person who had been looking under vehicles.

Another occupant of the vehicle – Cristian Omar Resto Alejandro, 25, of New Bedford – was found to have an active warrant for his arrest.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Quiriam Yeileen Resto Alejandro, 22, of New Bedford.

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Police said they searched the vehicle and found “a reciprocating saw with a built-in flashlight.”

“This tool can effectively be used to remove catalytic converters from vehicles in the dark,” police said. “Upon further investigation, a parked auto was located a very short distance away that had damage to its catalytic converter.”

Santiago and Cristian Resto Alejandro were both taken into custody, and police said they are seeking charges against Quiriam Resto Alejandro for her role in the incident.

All three parties are being charged with possession of a burglarious tool and stealing parts from a motor vehicle.

“The theft of catalytic converters can be frustrating for police to deal with given the fact that the suspects normally move very quickly under the cover of darkness,” Chief Paul Oliveira said in a statement. “It takes witnesses who are willing to call us when they see something suspicious, alert patrol officers who respond quickly, and even a little bit of luck. We were fortunate in this instance to have all three. I’m very happy to see these suspects charged.”

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