A woman woke up in her SUV and accidentally ran over and killed a man as he tried to steal a catalytic converter from underneath it, according to officials in California.
Police say that a woman accidentally ran over the man as he attempted to remove the converter from her “lifted” Ford Excursion vehicle in Palmdale, north of Los Angeles.
The woman had fallen asleep in the SUV in a retail parking lot on Tuesday and was woken by the sound of sawing underneath her.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says she turned on the vehicle and backed out of her parking space and felt a bump. She immediately called 911 to get the man medical help and he was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“The victim turned her vehicle on, put it in reverse, heard a thump and stopped the vehicle, and then saw that there was a suspect underneath the car that had been run over by her car,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt Hugo Reynaga.
Three other suspects, a man and two women, in a car parked next to the truck were taken into custody.
Thefts of catalytic converters have spiked more than 1,200 per cent in recent years because of the precious metals they are made with, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.