CAUGHT ON CAM: Repeat catalytic converter theft victim fights would-be thief

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 3:52 PM EDT
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DALLAS (KTVT) – Catalytic converter thefts are still rising in north Texas, as thieves target the precious metals inside. But one repeat victim decided to fight back, literally.

Clay Hayner’s van had been targeted for its catalytic converter three times over the past year.

“For some reason, it’s like a prime target for them,” he said.

He was determined to make sure there wouldn’t be a fourth, so he installed cameras and set up deterrents under the van outside of his Design District studio, where he lives and works as a photographer.

The moment he was expecting finally came Thursday night around 10 p.m. Hayner’s Ring camera alerted him to motion outside, and he spotted a would-be thief climbing beneath his van.

He had just enough time to grab a weapon, so he picked up a metal light stand next to the door and confronted the thief.

“He couldn’t get out, so I was able to beat him for a while,” Hayner said. “Then I saw him start grabbing his bag and started beating his hand.”

The suspect took off, leaving his bag behind. He was carrying saws, wire cutters, masks, gloves and knives.

Hayner also took the suspect’s bike, forcing him to run down the alley. Hayner said he doesn’t expect an arrest; the crime happens so quickly that solving them is rare. He said he hopes he did his part to spare others both the violation and the cost.

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