Accused catalytic converter thief hit and killed: police officers
A woman sleeping in her SUV awoke to strange sounds underneath her vehicle and slammed it into reverse, Los Angeles police said. Then she felt a bump.
Police responding to her 911 call at 5:56 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, discovered she had backed over and killed an accused catalytic converter thief, a news release said.
Another man and two women were detained at the scene, police said. Their names were not released.
The four had pulled into a space next to the woman’s Ford Excursion in a retail parking lot, police said.
One of the men crawled under her SUV and began sawing off the catalytic converter, waking her, the release said.
The woman put the SUV in reverse and “felt a bump like she ran something over,” then stopped and called 911, police said.
Thefts of catalytic converters, which contain precious metals, have soared across the United States, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported.
More than 14,433 catalytic converter thefts were reported in 2020, compared to 3,389 in 2019, the bureau said.
The devices, which reduce pollution emissions, contain platinum, palladium or rhodium, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported.
Don Sweeney was a newspaper reporter and editor in California for over 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter for The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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