CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Monday evening, Corpus Christi police arrested the original theft suspect, who left the scene on foot, after an attempted catalytic converter theft ended up fatal.
25-year-old Juan De Los Santos is facing charges of aggravated robbery after he was caught by a police officer underneath a car in an apartment complex.
Corpus Christi Interim Police Chief David Blackmon said an officer who was walking through an apartment complex saw Santos on the ground, attempting to steal a catalytic converter. When the officer tried to take him into custody, a struggle ensued. While the officer was in a struggle with Santos, another suspect came up to the officer at the scene with a gun, Blackmon said.
The officer "disengaged the first subject [Santos] and subsequently engaged the second subject," Blackmon said.
During that struggle, the officer shot the man with the gun. That suspect was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries, officials said. The officer was not injured.
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy, while the investigation continues.
This shooting comes as police have seen an increase in catalytic converter thefts across the area.
CCPD is reporting that the city has seen a 312-percent increase of catalytic converter thefts since January 2020.
Blackmon explained they're popular because the metals that make up the converters are very expensive. The department has doubled the number of arrests of offenders this year through increased surveillance by the Auto Theft Taskforce.
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