Police fatally shoot catalytic converter theft suspect

A man suspected of stealing catalytic converters from vehicles at a suburban Houston apartment complex was fatally shot by police after allegedly pointing a gun at an officer, according to authorities.

Officers were called to an apartment complex in Sugar Land around 10:05 p.m. Thursday after residents reported several individuals stealing catalytic converters.

Three suspected thieves led officers on a short car chase before they abandoned the vehicle in a field and ran away, according to Sugar Land police.

Police used a drone to track one of the suspects as he ran through the field, said Assistant Police Chief James Davis.

"As a perimeter was set up, the suspect produced a weapon and the officer returned fire, shooting the suspect," Davis said.

The suspect, who was not immediately identified, was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Officers are still searching for the other men who were in the vehicle.

There has been a nationwide surge of thefts of catalytic converters, which filter pollutants from car exhaust. They’re made with precious metals, sit on the underside of a vehicle and can be removed in a matter of minutes with a machine-powered saw.

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