A Seattle couple was met with gunfire after confronting catalytic converter thieves on their block.
The couple said the criminals continued to cut into their early 2000s Honda Odyssey minivan even after they were spotted. The thieves showed they were ready to shoot whoever tried to stop them.
According to KOMO News, the woman saw a man get out of his car and crouch down behind the van. She sent her husband to check out the situation as she called 9-1-1.
He approached the vehicle and could apparently hear the sound of cutting metal. That’s when he realized the back of the van was jacked into the air.
“He ran toward them yelling for them to stop and they weren’t stopping,” the woman told KOMO. “There were three of them. And one of them pulled a gun and shot it in the air.”
What was most shocking to the couple was the fact they three men seemed unconcerned they were spotted or fired a gun.
“They finished up,” she said. “They kept going. They finished up and then left a couple of minutes later and then the police came just after that.”
It will cost the couple about $2,000 to replace the stolen catalytic converter, but the loss of a sense of safety is a bigger issue to them.
“It’s pretty scary to have people like that out there that feel free to do that,” the woman said.
This is the latest in a concerning pattern of catalytic converter thefts that are rising around the country. According to the Associated Press, thefts of exhaust emission control devices have jumped over the past two years as the prices for the precious metals they contain have skyrocketed.
Thieves can expect to get anywhere from $50 to $300 if they sell cats’ to scrap yards. Thefts reported in claims to insurance companies jumped from 3,389 in 2019 to 14,433 in 2020, and those numbers continue to go up during the pandemic.