Police arrested four men Sunday in connection to the theft of a catalytic converter in the North Whisman neighborhood, which led police to a counterfeit money-making operation at a nearby hotel, according to a statement by the Mountain View Police Department.
The arrests stem from an initial report of a resident chasing someone from their home on the 800 block of Wake Forest Drive around 4 a.m. before he sped away in a Toyota Camry, police said.
Officers located and pulled over the vehicle nearby on Emily Drive and found the driver, a 21-year-old man, was in possession a handgun reported stolen out of a Central Valley city, a catalytic converter and several burglary tools. The catalytic converter was later determined to belong to a car at the home on Wake Forest Drive, police said.
Later that morning, another officer found that the same Toyota Camry was "associated" with suspicious activity at the nearby Ramada Inn, police said in the statement. Officers found several people going in and out of two hotel rooms, one of whom was allegedly seen trying to conceal items.
Officers searched one of the rooms and found methamphetamine, meth pipes, counterfeit money, burglary tools and phones.
The man driving the Camry, a Merced resident, was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle; carrying a stolen, loaded firearm; receiving stolen property; and attempted grand theft.
The three men found in the hotel, ages 26, 35, and 35, all Merced residents, were also arrested on suspicion of forgery and counterfeiting, possession of burglary tools, attempted grand theft and possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Mugshots and names of the suspects are available on the city's website.