Man killed while stealing catalytic converter after being run over by would-be victim, police say

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Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Law enforcement cracks down on catalytic converter thefts
Law enforcement agencies across the country are taking action after seeing a rise in thefts of catalytic converters since the beginning of the pandemic.

PALMDALE, Calif. -- A man who authorities say was trying to steal a catalytic converter from a truck in Palmdale is dead after being run over by the driver of that truck.

The incident occurred around 6 p.m. Tuesday at a shopping center parking lot, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities say a car with four suspects inside pulled up to the lifted 4x4 Ford Excursion, and one of them got out to saw off the vehicle's catalytic converter.

A woman was sleeping inside the truck and heard the noises and thought someone was breaking in. She started the engine and put the car in reverse gear. When she felt a bump, she got out and called 911 after she saw the grand theft suspect on the ground.

Responding deputies detained the three other suspects, another man and two women. The suspect that was struck was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Additional details were not available.