(USNewsMag.com) – California has been dealing with criminal rings targeting catalytic converters for quite some time. Recently, a thief in Sacramento tried stealing one, but the attempt ended fatally for him.
On Monday, April 11, 28-year-old Adolfo Rangel was attempting to steal the catalytic converter from a car around 4 a.m., when the vehicle ran him over while he was under the car. First responders took him by ambulance to the hospital where he died.
The Sacramento Police Department’s Traffic Unit spoke to the driver of the vehicle at the scene, but it remains unclear if charges will be brought against them.
Detectives believe he was tampering with the vehicle before the collision. https://t.co/dBh2sVimHr
— The Sacramento Bee (@sacbee_news) April 11, 2022
Thieves target catalytic converters, a part of the vehicle’s exhaust system, because they contain high-value metals such as rhodium, platinum, gold and palladium.
In 2021, San Jose police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office carried out an operation that led to the arrests of 15 suspects. Officers recovered 1,000 catalytic converters, $50,000 in cash, weapons, and tools the suspects allegedly used in the thefts. That same year, Livermore and Pleasanton police concluded a five-month investigation that led to three arrests and the recovery of 40 of the car parts, drugs, illegal weapons and $91,000 in cash.
Catalytic converters can cost upwards of $2,500 to replace, causing more harm to Americans who are already financially strapped.
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