SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento police said a man died after being run over while he tried to steal a catalytic converter early Monday morning.
Police said around 4:45 a.m., officers found a man suffering from serious injuries near the Methodist Hospital of Sacramento.
He was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead.
The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has since identified him as 28-year-old Jose Adolfo Rangel.
Police said Rangel was tampering with the car that hit him, and they believe he was trying to steal the car’s catalytic converter before he was hit.
The driver of the car spoke to police about what happened and the investigation is ongoing.
Catalytic converters, which help scrub pollutants from an engine’s exhaust, have become more and more attractive to thieves in recent years.
Thanks to the increasing prices of the precious metals used in the production — i.e, platinum, rhodium and palladium — an ill-gotten catalytic converter can “typically” fetch between $50 and $250 when sold to an unscrupulous recycling facility, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
The pandemic has only driven up the demand and prices of these precious metals. Rhodium, alone, is currently valued at over $19,000 per ounce.