HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston police officer is recovering after being injured in an undercover sting on the northwest side that all started over catalytic converter thefts.
Officers were in pursuit of thieves when another officer hit him, according to HPD.
Thieves often go after catalytic converters overnight, in places where they don't suspect anyone will be, like the city-owned lot the thieves targeted early Friday morning.
Little did they know, police were undercover, patrolling the lot near the Northwest Freeway and Bingle.
Houston police say undercover officers witnessed three men steal catalytic converters from city-owned vehicles in the lot.
When the officers tried to stop them, the thieves fled, prompting a chase, which ended near the Southwest Freeway and Beechnut, according to HPD.
The men ran off on foot and police pursued.
One officer was injured as a result. Police say he was clipped by another patrol car, injuring his knee.
"At approximately 12:52 a.m., officers were called to assist an officer call at 700 Wednesbury, where one of the officers that was pursuing the suspect ended up getting hit by a vehicle, had minor injuries and was transported to Southwest Memorial Hermann," Lt. E. Pavel said. "He is believed to be OK. He might need a few stitches, but he is expected to be okay."
All three suspects were taken into custody, police said. In total, five stolen catalytic converters were recovered from the scene.
HPD said the undercover officers are on the department's new task force, dedicated to hunting down thieves targeting catalytic converters.
A new state law went into effect in September, making stealing them a felony.