Vehicle owner shoots, wounds alleged catalytic converter thief near Exposition Park

EXPOSITION PARK, LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- A man was shot and wounded Monday morning while allegedly attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a vehicle in the Exposition Park area of Los Angeles.

The shooting occurred about 1:40 a.m. in the 1800 block of West 35th Street, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Drake Madison.

The vehicle's owner saw the man under his car and when the man got up holding an "unknown object" the owner produced a gun and shot the suspect, Madison said.

The suspect ran from the scene but was located by arriving officers and taken to a hospital where he has stable vital signs, Madison said.

The shooting was under investigation, he said.

Here are some tips from law enforcement on how to avoid becoming a victim of catalytic converter theft:

- Weld the bolts on catalytic converters shut
- Engrave your license plate number on the part
- Park in well-lit areas
- Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood

Why are catalytic converters a target for thieves? They want what's inside.

"They're filled with precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. I believe they melt them down and separate the metals and sell them because they're worth more than gold," said David Kilbourne, who runs Foreign Carriage Service in Thousand Oaks.

The video featured above is from an earlier report.

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