It’s wrong what he was trying to do, but the punishment didn’t fit the crime.
Imagine your final moments are of you trapped underneath a Toyota Prius, crushed by a hybrid because you are a catalytic converter thief who doesn’t know how to properly lift a car. According to KCTV 5 news that was the unfortunate reality of one Kansas City, Missouri man who died earlier today after a Toyota Prius he was attempting to steal a catalytic converter from came crashing down onto his body, pinning him underneath.
KCTV describes how the thief, although crushed by the Prius, wasn’t immediately killed. With his remaining strength he called out to a passerby to help him. Even though he was successfully dragged out, he succumbed to his injuries.
Car thieves have been going after catalytic converters ever since they became mandatory on cars but a recent spike that’s seen Palladium per oz double in the past year from $1,000 to over $2,000 has emboldened criminals to steal catalytic converters, a source of the precious metal.
According to the WSJ, Prius converters can have as much as 2 ounces of Palladium or a little less than a 10th of an oz. Some quick maths and, with the other precious metals, you can get upwards of $450 at a scrapyard for a Prius converter.
Located smack dab in the middle, underneath a Prius, they are ideal targets for catalytic converter thieves. But since they aren’t as accessible as trucks, you have to lift and crawl underneath to get them.
Converter thieves, like this one, probably only an easy-to-carry scissor jack, strong enough to lift a car but not stable enough for long repairs where you need to crawl underneath to do some serious work.
Lightweight jacks that are strong enough to raise a car are only for light duty repairs to tires, wheels, brakes, and any other outer perimeter repairs where you need the car off the ground but don’t have to crawl underneath. If you must crawl underneath a car, the car should be on level ground, supported by jack stands, choked wheels, and a back-up jack for good measure.
While everyone agrees that what he was trying to do is 100 percent wrong, the punishment in this case, certainly did not fit the crime.