Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) minimizes Ontario, California catalytic converter theft

I don’t know if this is true in other parts of the country, but catalytic converter theft is rampant in the Ontario, California area. Even if you capture the license plate of the alleged thief, you still have to find the car. Which is where automated license plate recognition, or ALPR, comes in handy.

This was released on the Ontario Police Department’s Nixle account. (A separate press release on another event clarifies that Ontario uses Flock cameras for ALPR investigative leads.)

Catalytic Converter Thieves Arrested

Ontario, CA – Ontario Police arrested two suspects in connection with multiple catalytic converter thefts.   

On Friday, April 8th, 2022, at 5:37 P.M., Ontario Police officers received an alert from an automated license plate reader (ALPR) of a vehicle suspected to be involved in catalytic converter thefts. Officers responded to the area of Milliken Avenue and 4th Street where they located the suspect vehicle occupied by a female passenger in an adjacent parking lot.

While conducting surveillance, officers observed a male lurking between cars before returning to the suspect vehicle and attempting to drive away. Officers stopped the suspects and recovered five catalytic converters, an electric saw, and a floor jack. Officers confirmed two of the catalytic converters were missing off a vehicle where the suspects were parked. Both suspects were arrested for grand theft, felony vandalism, and conspiracy to commit a felony.

The suspects have been identified as Carlos Gerardo Morales (age 25) and Alexis Lena Sanchez (age 25). Both suspects are from San Bernardino.

The Ontario Police Department has partnered with Flock Safety to place multiple ALPR cameras at strategic locations throughout the city. This is just one example of how OPD is using technology to deter and reduce crime throughout the city.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Ontario Police Department at (909) 986-6711. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling WE-TIP at (800) 78-CRIME or online at

Ontario Police Department, California
2500 S Archibald Ave
Ontario, CA 91761

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 909-395-2001

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