Since 1975, any car made and sold here in the United States requires a catalytic converter. They’re meant to combat emissions from your car and while they’ve changed over the years, they’re still there on all new vehicles.
Now, I’m not a car guy–that’s my son’s area of expertise–but I know what they are.
I also know that they get stolen a lot due to some of the metals contained within. One of those, rhodium, goes for something like $15,000 an ounce. It’s not surprising that someone would go after something with that price tag. While a catalytic converter may only have a couple of grams of the stuff, that’s still a thousand bucks, and that doesn’t touch the platinum or palladium in there.
So they’re attractive to thieves.
Well, for one Florida thief, it was almost a fatal attraction.
A 36-year-old man has been arrested after he was shot while trying to steal a catalytic converter from a truck in northeast Miami-Dade, authorities said.
Craig Antron Pearson was taken into custody Friday, shortly after the incident occurred.
According to his arrest report, surveillance video shows Pearson cutting the catalytic converter of a white 2005 Dodge pickup truck just before 5 a.m. Friday in a warehouse area at 20056 NE 15th Court.
The owner of a demolition and trash hauling company told Local 10 News reporter Parker Branton that one of her employees saw the suspect trying to steal the catalytic converter from their truck.
She said her employee told her the suspect ran towards him with a saw, so the employee shot at the suspect and the suspect ran off.
Pearson was later apprehended with a gunshot wound to his wrist. He admitted to being at the scene but claims he wasn’t stealing anything.
Because of course he’d say that.
After all, admitting he was trying to steal the catalytic converter would require him to acknowledge not just being there but also having a saw, the weapon he allegedly used to threaten the armed citizen. That would, in turn, not just justify the shooting, but add a charge of something like aggravated assault on top of the attempted theft.
But with the kind of money available in such a thing–as much as $1,700 at the market rates as of this writing–, it’s not difficult to imagine threatening to kill someone.
This means the armed citizen did the right thing by using lethal force.
This is also one of those times when using lethal force doesn’t result in a fatality, which is why any discussion of defensive gun uses that only focus on dead criminals is less than useless. This guy was shot in the wrist. While that can be fatal if an artery is severed, it’s often not.
Like in this case.
So now an attempted catalytic converter thief who thought it was a good idea to bring a saw to a gunfight is in custody. We also see why it’s important for people to be able to carry their privately-owned firearms at work.