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US man crushed to death while attempting to steal catalytic converter on Georgia car lot amid skyrocketing theft rates [Video]

National Crime News

A US man has been crushed to death while allegedly attempting to steal a catalytic converter from vehicle at a Georgia car yard, police said.

Matthew Eric Smith, 32, was found dead under a car on March 7, the Chatham County Police Department said in a release.

“Evidence at the scene indicates that the man was killed while he was illegally removing a catalytic converter from the vehicle, and the vehicle fell on top of him,” the release read.

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The converters, which reduce pollution and toxic gas from a vehicle’s emissions, are relatively easy to steal and contain valuable precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium.

Catalytic converter theft in America has skyrocketed by more than 1200 per cent since 2019, according to the US National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Police across Australia have also released several catalytic converter theft warnings to motorists in the last few years, following strings of arrests.

“Thieves are generally targeting vehicles outside of business hours using tools …

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