Catalytic Converter Thief Run Over, Killed While Stealing It

Apprentice holding catalytic converter in car service centre

Photo: Getty Images-Monty Rakusen

A would-be thief in California is dead after he attempted to steal a catalytic converter -- and was run over by the vehicle he was stealing it from.

The incident happened Tuesday in Palmdale, where a vehicle with four people inside pulled up alongside a Ford Excursion in a store parking lot, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Office. A man got out, climbed under the SUV and began sawing off its catalytic converter -- unaware that a woman was asleep inside, authorities say. The noise woke up the woman, who immediately started the vehicle and backed out of the parking spot, per the sheriff's office. That's when she "felt a bump like she ran something over," a sheriff's spokesman says.

The thief was rushed to a local hospital, where he died, the sheriff's office reports. The other three people inside his vehicle were taken into custody, according to an incident report. It's unclear whether they've been charged.

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