Suspected Catalytic Converter Thief Shot Twice Then Dragged Behind Truck

One man is dead, another faces prison over a car part.

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Screenshot: King 5 News / YouTube

A Washington man is in jail after allegedly shooting a catalytic converter thief then using his pickup to drag him into a field to die.

KIRO 7 News reports that in the early morning hours of Saturday in Lakewood, Washington, Michael Campbell was sleeping in his truck when he woke up to find Brent Peltomaa under his truck trying to get the catalytic converter. A report from King 5 News details how it got much worse from there:

Campbell told police he saw two legs sticking out from under the truck when he opened the passenger door and fired “straight down” at the suspected thief. Campbell said he then fired two more shots at the man, according to court documents.

The man attempted to get into his vehicle but collapsed, court documents say. Campbell told police he then tied the man to the ball hitch of the F-150. Campbell said he dragged the man into a nearby field and left him.

Campbell told police the suspected thief was still alive and talking when he was tied up and dragged to the field before being abandoned, according to court documents.


Witnesses say that they watched as Campbell’s white F-150 dragged an “object” out of a parking lot. That object, of course, was Peltomaa.

According to the Seattle Times, Peltomaa was dragged some 400 feet after getting shot. Officers found a lot of blood in the parking lot and Peltomaa’s truck. They also found marks on the ground from the F-150 dragging Peltomaa.


Peltomaa later died and Campbell was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. He’s noted as having prior felony convictions and as a result, wasn’t even supposed to have a gun in the first place.

Catalytic converters are a target for thieves looking to make a quick buck. Some of these thieves are so good at nabbing the emissions control devices that they can nab them in less than 30 seconds. Catalytic converter thefts in Washington are so bad that a King 5 news van got hit in broad daylight: