Man Killed While Trying to Steal Catalytic Converter in Palmdale

Man Killed While Trying to Steal Catalytic Converter in Palmdale
A brand new catalytic converter sits on a car lift at Johnny Franklin's Muffler in San Rafael, Calif., on July 11, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
City News Service

PALMDALE, Calif.—A man suspected of attempting to steal a catalytic converter from an SUV in the parking lot of a Palmdale shopping center was killed when he was run over by the vehicle, authorities said Feb. 15.

Deputies from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station responded at approximately 5:56 p.m. Tuesday to a parking lot in the 39400 block of 10th Street West regarding multiple calls about a grand theft of a car and upon their arrival found the suspect lying in a parking space suffering from blunt trauma wounds, said Lt. Hugo Reynaga.

During their investigation, deputies learned the victim, who was asleep in the Ford Excursion, heard a sawing noise underneath her vehicle, started the SUV, and put it in reverse before realizing that she had run over the suspect.

“She heard a thump and then stopped when she realized she had run over something,” Reynaga said

The suspect was taken to a hospital by Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies later located three additional suspects, two women and a man, inside a department store near the scene. They were taken into custody and detained at the Palmdale station, Renaga said.

Reyna said it was unknown if the suspect was run over accidentally.

“It’s too early to tell. It seems like the victim was trying to pull her vehicle out of the way from someone who was trying to steal the undercarriage of her vehicle,” he said.

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