Tag Archives: Catalytic

4 catalytic converter thieves shoot at 2 men chasing after them in W. Houston, HPD says

4 catalytic converter thieves shoot at 2 men chasing after them in W. Houston, HPD says
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Two witnesses chased down catalytic converter theft suspects on Dairy Ashford near the Katy Freeway before a shooting Friday morning.

According to Houston police, the chase-turned-shooting started at about 9:30 a.m. when two men at a commercial business on Dairy Ashford noticed four suspects breaking into one of the men’s trucks, stealing the catalytic converter.

An ABC13 photojournalist in the area captured video of multiple catalytic converters on the ground in a parking lot near the scene.

The owner of the gray Toyota pickup truck and a contractor in a white van engaged with the suspects, prompting them to take off.

The two witnesses chased the suspects down on Dairy Ashford, according to HPD.

At one point during the chase, the suspects turned around and started driving northbound in the southbound lanes of Dairy Ashford.

SEE ALSO: Catalytic converter thefts in Houston up more than 400%, data shows

That’s when they crashed into a mother driving in a SUV with her child.

“This was a very dangerous situation, but we’re proud to say that nobody was seriously injured here,” HPD Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite said.

The suspects pulled into a parking lot after the crash, prompting the witnesses in the truck and van to follow.

Unaware of the situation, the mother in the SUV also pulled into the parking lot after the crash.

Once in the parking lot, HPD said the two men used their vehicles to block the suspects in.

Realizing they were blocked in, the four suspects took off on foot toward a nearby hotel parking garage, Satterwhite said.

While fleeing, two of the suspects fired shots at the gray truck, with the mother and her child nearby, police said.

Video from the scene showed bullet holes in a gray pickup truck in the parking lot.

According to HPD, a Harris County Precinct 1 deputy constable at the gas station across the street saw the shooting and called for backup.

In total, Precinct 1, Precinct 5, Houston police, Department of Public Safety and SWAT officials all collaborated in controlling the scene.

Houston police secured a perimeter around the parking garage, where the four suspects eventually surrendered and were arrested.

Although officials initially believed there were six suspects, further investigation led them to believe there were only four, and all four were detained.

“The community should not feel alarmed that there’s another suspect going around the property right now,” Satterwhite said.

When asked about the theft victims that chased after the suspects, Satterwhite reminded Houstonians that it is always best to call police and avoid engagement with armed individuals.

“Property is not a reason to risk your life. We want people to be careful,” Satterwhite said. “We don’t want people to engage with armed suspects. We want them to call us… They are victims, it’s the criminals that did this.”

Satterwhite said the four suspects were all men in their 20s.

WATCH: ABC13’s Courtney Fischer tells personal story of catalytic converter theft

He emphasized that HPD is taking catalytic converter thefts very seriously, noting that they believe a lot of the thefts stem from organized crime.

“The catalytic converter thefts we have going on in this city, and frankly the country, a lot of it is organized,” Satterwhite said. “It’s a huge problem and we are looking at every part of it.”

He said investigators are not only looking at theft suspects, but also individuals who are buying stolen parts.

“As a nation, we are facing some real problems right now, especially when it comes to violent crime. The police departments across the country, we are doing everything we can. We’re collaborating. We’re coordinating,” he said. “We’re just as concerned and alarmed as you are.”

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RELATED: Thieves run off with 20 catalytic converters from La Porte car dealership

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: Nick Natario

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Papa John's Pizza gives worker new car after his catalytic converter was stolen

Papa John's Pizza gives worker new car after his catalytic converter was stolen
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A Papa John’s Pizza delivery driver whose car went up in flames after thieves tried to steal his catalytic converter was given the surprise of a lifetime.

After losing his only means of transportation, and his home at one point, the company’s president, Keith Sullins, gifted Isaac Sanchez a new car Wednesday afternoon.

“He’s such a great employee,” said Sullins. “I just want to say thank you for staying with Papa John’s. Thank you for all you do.”

The president signed over the car to him and handed over the keys. Sanchez was in disbelief and said he felt extremely grateful.

“I was living in my car, yes,” he told Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

He said one night, he was sitting in his car watching a movie when thieves tried to steal his catalytic converter. The next day, Sanchez car went up in flames.

“I had people come up beside me on both sides and say, ‘Your car’s on fire,'” said Sanchez. “I guess it was shooting out from both sides.”

Sanchez was lucky enough to safely get out. A mechanic told him the fire started due to the catalytic converter.

ORIGINAL STORY: Papa John’s delivery man left without car after his catalytic converter gets stolen

He said the timing of the theft is far from ideal. He said he broke his knee cap after February’s winter storm. He then got ill and his hospital bills began to pile up.

READ ALSO: Catalytic converter thefts in Houston up more than 400%, data shows

Sanchez has been working for Papa John’s for 15 years and said he’s grateful for his company’s generosity.

Plus, Sanchez had a group sticking beside him. Sanchez’s co-worker, Jason Hernandez got together with several other co-workers to help him get back on his feet.

They were able to book him a couple of days at a motel, provided him with clothes and food and even set up a GoFundMe in hopes of getting Houstonians to pitch in.

“Every time I go home, after work, I always think about Isaac,” said Hernandez. “He is such a nice person and he does not deserve this at all.”

To help Sanchez’s cause, visit his GoFundMe page.

Follow Mayra Moreno on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: Mayra Moreno

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Papa John's delivery man left without car after his catalytic converter gets stolen

Papa John's delivery man left without car after his catalytic converter gets stolen
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A man whose car was his only source of income is desperate for help after someone stole his catalytic converter.

As a driver for Papa John’s Pizza, Isaac Sanchez’s livelihood depended on his vehicle.

“I was living in my car, yes,” he said.

He said one night, he was sitting in his car watching a movie when thieves tried to steal his catalytic converter. Sanchez was able to scare them away and they took off.

But one day, after making a delivery, something terrifying happened to Sanchez.

“I had people come up beside me on both sides and say, ‘Your car’s on fire,'” said Sanchez. “I guess it was shooting out from both sides.”

Sanchez was lucky enough to safely get out. A mechanic told him the fire started due to the catalytic converter.

READ ALSO: Catalytic converter thefts in Houston up more than 400%, data shows

“I don’t know how I would have been if anything happened to Isaac,” said Sanchez’s co-worker, Jason Hernandez.

Sanchez said the timing of the theft is far from ideal. He said he broke his knee cap after February’s winter storm. He then got ill and his hospital bills began to pile up.

“It’s been going on for about three months and I’m wondering, ‘What did I do wrong?'” asked Sanchez. “Hopefully, I’ll believe in some type of faith. God, maybe, he will make it better.”

Meanwhile, Hernandez and several other co-workers are trying to do everything they can to help Sanchez during this difficult time.

They were able to book him a couple of days at a motel, provided him with clothes and food and even set up a GoFundMe in hopes of getting Houstonians to pitch in.

“Every time I go home, after work, I always think about Isaac,” said Hernandez. “He is such a nice person and he does not deserve this at all.”

Sanchez is still managing to deliver pizzas using a borrowed car.

Meanwhile, Papa John’s issued a statement saying they’re hoping to help as well.

“We have an employee who has been with the company for 15 years and he needs our help. This is what we do, we step up and help in the community in times of need and we take care of our Papa John’s Houston family,” said Keith Sullins, President of Papa John’s Houston. “I just found out about what this employee is going through. We need to get him back on the road. Our team is dedicated to supporting him. I personally am going to make sure he has a car to drive.”

To help Sanchez’s cause, visit his GoFundMe page.

Follow Mayra Moreno on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: Mayra Moreno

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

APD: Catalytic converter thefts on the rise, one neighborhood has more than 350% spike

Author Candy Rodriguez
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

APD: Catalytic converter thefts on the rise, one neighborhood has more than 350% spike

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police say thieves are targeting catalytic converters in record numbers. In early March, police released information on the significant increases they were seeing across the city.

The department’s Commercial Burglary Unit investigated 27 cases of catalytic converter thefts in 2019. Then, last year, cases skyrocketed to 584 thefts reported.

The latest chief’s monthly report from March shows similar figures. Citywide so far there has been an increase of 209% in thefts of auto parts this year compared to last. Police say they believe the reason catalytic converters are being hit the hardest is because of what the emissions control device contains inside. Each catalytic converter carries a small amount of three precious metals — platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Just in the last year, data shows the value of rhodium more than doubled selling for more than $ 28,000 an ounce — making it worth more than gold.

At present, police say a thief can get several hundred dollars for one catalytic converter. However, for those who have the car part stolen, it can cost a pretty penny to replace. Police say replacing catalytic converters can cost someone up to $ 6,000.

“That is the last thing I thought they would ever steal from me,” Richard Mulina, a Wells Branch neighbor said. “I figured they would break into my apartment before they did something like this. I laughed and I got under there and I was like, ‘You have got to be kidding me, man. They will steal anything.’”

Four of Mulina’s truck’s catalytic converters were taken last month.

APD: Catalytic converter thefts on the rise, one neighborhood has more than 350% spike
APD sectors

Across APD’s sectors’ the Charlie sector, which covers the majority of the eastern crescent part of town, has the highest number of thefts of auto parts — up 362% this year compared to last year.

The sector covering parts of Central Austin comes in second with a 309% increase. The north and southwest Austin areas were about the same in the 260% range. Then, the south, southeast, northeast and northwest areas all saw on average a 160% spike in thefts of auto parts. Only a part of town near APD headquarters, the George sector, saw a drop in thefts by around 33%.

Police say the problem is the devices are not hard to steal, and it can be difficult to identify who the catalytic converters belong to.

APD had some advice for car owners on how they can protect themselves from becoming a victim. Police suggest people park their cars in a garage if they can, or near a lit area. Also, if possible people should write on their VIN or some sort of identifying information in case it is stolen and police find it, they can return it to the rightful owner.

Motion sensor lights are also a good idea, said one police detective. There are also alarm systems car owners can attach to the catalytic converters to avoid theft.

Catalytic converter theft data for 2020 (APD Photo)
Catalytic converter theft data for 2020 (APD Photo)

Police say the Toyota Prius tops the list for thieves looking to steal catalytic converters, followed by the Honda Element and the Ford Econoline. Police say thieves also target trucks as many of them sit higher and can be easier for thieves to get under.