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Victim confronts catalytic converter thieves, gets shot at during pursuit

By Juliette Goodrich

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    CONCORD, California (KPIX) — A Concord man escaped without injuries after a confrontation with thieves who stole his catalytic converter ended in gunfire early Thursday morning.

According to witnesses, two suspects were targeting vehicles in a North Concord neighborhood and were able to take two catalytic converters. One of the victims spotted the suspects, got out of his house and followed the suspects in his car.

KPIX spoke with the victim, who did not want to talk on camera because he said he was almost killed. He said he heard something outside and went to investigate. When he got to his driveway, he saw thieves stealing the catalytic converter on his Prius.

The homeowner said he got into his damaged Prius and drove after the thieves, chasing them through Concord. On Solano Way, he says the thieves started shooting at him, hitting the Prius twice, narrowly missing him in the driver seat.

“That’s something that we’ve seen trending more lately, people being fired at for those property-related crimes,” said Lt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern said that, if someone is trying to steal something from your car, the best thing you can do is be a good witness.

“Record the type of car, see if you can memorize the license plate. They should not chase after the suspects.”

The victim’s neighbor witnessed the theft and her surveillance cameras caught some of the commotion outside.

“So I looked out the window and that’s when I see the bright light, which is in the picture,” said the woman, who did not want her name released.

The neighbor’s surveillance cameras also recorded someone shouting.

“It was about 3:19 in the morning,” she recalled. “My dog started barking I got up, looked and see the bright light. I heard the loud car noise and then somebody started yelling and then I heard the car again, probably like 5 minutes later.”

Police did catch up with the suspect vehicle a short time after the Prius was struck by gunfire.

When the officers tried to pull over the driver, he took off and led officers on a high-speed chase all the way from Concord to the Caldecott Tunnel.

Walnut Creek police and Lafayette police joined the chase but lost sight of the suspect vehicle near the Caldecott Tunnel.

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