Man dies when car he was allegedly trying to steal from falls on top of him

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF/CNN) - Police are investigating after a Missouri man was crushed to death by a car while allegedly trying to steal a part from it.

The incident happened Friday morning in a Kansas City, Missouri, parking lot and involved a Toyota Prius. The owner of the Prius, who did not want to be identified, says he was at work when he learned his car had crushed a man.

A person in another vehicle tried to lift the Prius off the man using a jack, according to the car’s owner, but the victim died at the scene.

Authorities say the man was trying to steal the car’s catalytic converter, a device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants from a vehicle’s exhaust system.

James Garten, a service adviser at KC Complete Auto, says Pruis’ catalytic converters contain valuable metals like palladium, rhodium and platinum, and thieves can make a quick buck off them.

“When it comes to catalytic converters being stolen, it’s a common occurrence,” Garten said. “They take them to different scrapyards, and they will scrap them out. Nowadays, a lot of scrapyards will take catalytic converters, but you have to supply them with titles.”

Replacing the part costs at minimum $300 to $400, according to Garten, but it can cost as much as $2,500.

Copyright 2020 WDAF, Tribune, James Garten via CNN. All rights reserved.