New Caney ISD officers injured after possible catalytic converter theft in Humble

HUMBLE, Texas (KTRK) -- Two off-duty New Caney ISD officers opened fire on suspected catalytic converter thieves in Humble on Saturday night.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, one of those officers was injured.

At about 10:30 p.m., the officers were at the ShowBiz Cinemas at Wilson and North Beltway, deputies said.

A customer told the off-duty officers that people attempted to steal a catalytic converter from a Toyota tundra in the parking lot. When the officers tried confronting the three suspects, they were already getting back into their vehicle, investigators said.

According to deputies, the officers ordered the three men to get out of their car. The driver took off and almost ran over the officers. The officers then opened fire and shot at the vehicle multiple times.

"The car was probably struck three or four times," HCSO Sgt. Ben Beall said. "Possibly has bullet damage to the vehicle and could have at least one or two flat tires on it. The best description we have of the vehicle is a silver-colored 4-door sedan. It has a spoiler on the rear trunk lid and a sunroof on the vehicle, and like I said, it should have some bullet damage to the vehicle."

One of the officers was struck by a bullet in the leg and was transported to a nearby hospital. He is expected to be OK.

Homicide and Crime Scene Unit investigators say they responded to the scene.

Thieves can steal catalytic converters in a matter of minutes.

In 2021, we saw a 400% increase in catalytic converter thefts. In 2022, inflation has caused the converters and metal in them to become even more valuable.

SEE ALSO: City of Houston spends over $280K on catalytic converter thefts repairs and preventatives

Thieves can get as much as $1,600 by re-selling a catalytic converter on the black market, according to International Association of Auto Theft Investigators.

To help prevent your catalytic converter from getting stolen, HPD recommends for drivers to etch their VIN number on the converter or mark it with bright high temperature paint. Car owners can also buy a metal cover that sits over your catalytic converter.

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