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Catalytic converter thief crushed to death by Toyota Prius

WSOC/CNN Newsource
WSOC/CNN Newsource
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WSOC/CNN NEWSOURCE/WKRC) - There's been a surge in the theft of catalytic converter thefts recently.

That's partly due to supply chain issues and the increasing value of the precious metals used in the exhaust system devices.

During an apparent theft attempt in North Carolina Wednesday, the would-be thief was crushed under a car.

As John Paul reports, while a stolen catalytic converter may be worth a lot, it's not worth a human life.

The man was found dead underneath the car.

But what happened, why was he there?

We went to the area of West Unionville Indian trail road Friday afternoon and found a Prius with crime scene tape behind it.

The owner didn't want to talk with us, but deputies say he had the vehicle jacked up.

And at some point this week, a man crawled underneath with power tools.

"It appears the vehicle had fell down on top of him while he was trying to cut the catalytic converter off of the car,” says James Maye.

Deputies don't know how long he had been there, but say his wife had reported him missing earlier in the day.

And these crimes are not isolated.

Another man had his catalytic converter stolen and you can see where thieves cut it out.

Now, he’s getting quotes as high as $1,500 for a fix.

"I became a victim. I hear stories in Indian Trail it's a big problem,” he says.

And that's why deputies are telling this story.

They want people to know it’s not just illegal, it's dangerous.

And not worth risking your life.

"It's truly sad that this family is going to have to spend Christmas without him just based on his poor decisions,” Maye adds.

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Although the cause of death seems apparent in this case, the medical examiner has not released that information yet or the victim's name.

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