12-year-old shot by thieves trying to steal catalytic converter in Oakland

California

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A 12-year-old boy was shot and wounded in Oakland after his father tried to stop thieves from stealing a catalytic converter from the family’s car, police said.

Two men were apparently trying to steal the anti-pollution device from the underside of the Honda Accord, which was parked outside the family’s home in the Maxwell Park neighborhood early Friday, authorities said.

The seventh grader, who was not identified, told the East Bay Times that he heard a noise and when he and his parents saw what was happening, his father tried to frighten the men by throwing a rock and chair at them.

One of the suspects fired several shots through the fence, striking the boy in the foot.

“I was surprised it hit me,” he said. “They were trying to shoot my dad, not me.”

He was taken to a hospital by his father and treated for his injury. The suspects fled in two cars, police said.

Theft of the catalytic converters is on the rise nationwide because the device contain precious metals that are valuable on the black market.

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