ZEBULON, NC (WNCN) — A 50-year-old man was killed when a car ran into him as he attempted to steal his catalytic converter, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office said.
At around 9 a.m. Tuesday, deputies were called to the area of US 64 and Debnam Road near Zebulon following a report of a body.
The body was discovered by a tow truck driver who was called to remove a disabled Toyota Camry.
Deputies found the body of Joshua Larry Diehl, 50, trapped under the Camry, the sheriff’s office said.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said investigators believe Diehl was trying to steal the Camry’s catalytic converter when the jack he used to raise the car malfunctioned.
“It’s unclear how long Diehl may have been under the vehicle before he was discovered,” the sheriff’s office said.
The car owner said she was driving home on Sunday when she got a flat tire. She called a friend to take her home around 10 p.m. because she had no way of changing her tire.
At one point, the sheriff’s office said Diehl found the car disabled and attempted to steal the catalytic converter.
“Unfortunately, these types of thefts are on the rise,” Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said. “This is a national issue, in part due to the increased value of precious metals in the coin.”
Wake County investigators are investigating whether Diehl is linked to similar reports of catalytic converter thefts in the area.