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Fatal Consequences: Georgia Catalytic Converter Theft Ends in Tragic Crushing Death

Fatal Consequences: Georgia Catalytic Converter Theft Ends in Tragic Crushing Death
Nationwide thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise as criminals hunt for the platinum, palladium, and rhodium that line the interior of the anti-pollution auto component. (Photo:

Police told Fox News Digital that a catalytic converter theft from Georgia was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while allegedly trying to take it from a nearby auto shop.

Matthew Eric Smith, 32, was squashed by a catalytic converter at South Bound Auto Sales on Tuesday around 9:15 a.m., according to the Chatham County Police Department.

Fatal Consequences: Georgia Catalytic Converter Theft Ends in Tragic Crushing Death

On March 7, 2023, Matthew Eric Smith’s body was discovered underneath a vehicle (WTOC/YouTube).

Mike Abouharb, the auto repair business owner, revealed that he discovered the man’s body when he got to work in the morning. Abouharb told WTOC-TV, “I didn’t even get near to him. “I immediately dialed the cops.”

Catalytic converters are a crucial component of a car’s exhaust system, designed to reduce harmful emissions and pollutants. They have become a popular target for criminals recently because they contain valuable metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. As the precious metals they contain can sell for a high price on the black market, catalytic converter theft has become an increasing issue, especially in urban areas.

However, attempting to steal a catalytic converter can be dangerous and potentially deadly. Thieves often need to crawl underneath the car and use power tools to remove the part, putting themselves at risk of being crushed by the vehicle’s weight or suffering serious injuries from the tools.

To combat the rising issue of catalytic converter theft, some states have introduced regulations aimed at curbing the sale of the stolen car parts. California, for example, requires sellers of catalytic converters to be licensed and keep records of their transactions. Other states have introduced laws that mandate scrap metal dealers to verify the seller’s identification and maintain records of their purchases.

The tragic death of the Georgia man is a stark reminder of the dangers and consequences associated with catalytic converter theft. Car owners and law enforcement agencies must work together to prevent these crimes from happening and ensure the safety of their communities.


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