A California woman accidentally ran over and killed a man police said had been trying to steal her catalytic converter Tuesday.
The unidentified woman was sleeping inside her Ford Excursion in the parking lot of a Palmdale shopping center when a group of four alleged thieves pulled up around 6 p.m., the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said.
Two Hispanic men and two Hispanic women parked in the stall next to their sleeping victim. One man hopped out of the car, laid underneath the woman’s SUV and began sawing off the catalytic converter, deputies said.
“The victim woke up from the sound, turned the car on, put the vehicle in reverse, and felt a bump like she ran something over,” the department said in a release.
The woman stopped immediately and called 911, leaving the ran-over suspect lying beneath her car.
Sheriffs arrived to find the Ford partially backed out of the parking stalls with the man still underneath and the alleged thieves’ car parked next to it.
The man was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police later identified him as a grand theft suspect.
The three others from his group were detained.
Police have not released the identities of those involved, or said whether the theft victim would face any charges. The case was classified as a homicide.
Catalytic converters are a hot commodity for auto thieves.
Last week, jackers swiped the iconic Oscar Mayer Mienermobile’s catalytic converter while it was parked at the Sonesta Suites on Paradise Road in Las Vegas.
In New York City, such thefts rose as much as 600% across the five boroughs last year, The Post reported.
The post California woman accidentally runs over, kills would-be catalytic converter thief: cops appeared first on New York Post.