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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A man was killed after police in California said he was run over by a car as he tried to steal a catalytic converter.

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the incident happened Monday in Sacramento, California.

Police were called to a collision between a car and a pedestrian around 4:45 a.m. Monday, Fox News reported.

The man had serious injuries and was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

He was later identified as Jose Adolfo Rangel, 28, who was tampering with the vehicle by trying to remove its catalytic converter before the incident, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Police spoke with the vehicle’s driver and the investigation is still open, KOVR reported.

Thefts of catalytic converters rose 325% between 2019 and 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau and Consumer Reports.

In New York City, police said that from 2019 to 2020, thefts of the exhaust system part rose from 211 to 802 and in 2021 jumped to 3,705 incidents.

A catalytic converter is required for vehicles to pass safety and emission inspections in many states and can cost someone between $1,500 to $3,000 to replace it.

Trucks are at greater risk because they are easier to access.

Toyota Prius hybrids, which have two converters, are also targeted.

Catalytic converters contain precious metals including platinum, palladium and rhodium. A single ounce of platinum goes for $1,000, palladium goes for more than $2,300 and rhodium can cost more than $20,000, according to Consumer Reports.

A converter has a few grams of each of the metals. Just over 28 grams make up an ounce.

Some states require scrap dealers to ask for vehicle titles or other documentation when someone sells a catalytic converter.

Vehicle owners can install anti-theft devices to deter thieves from removing the device. Drivers are also advised to park in secure locations and report thefts.

Some insurance companies will cover the cost of the repair but it depends on the type of coverage and the deductible, according to Consumer Reports.