Texas Homeowner Confronts Suspected Catalytic Converter Thief Caught on Camera

Clay Hayner of Dallas believes the man was after his car's catalytic converter, which can sell for $1,500.

A Texas man fed up with thieves on his property took the law into his own hands when he saw a man he says was trying to steal his van's catalytic converter.

Clay Hayner of Dallas was watching his home security camera when he saw the suspected thief approach his vehicle and crawl underneath. Hayner grabbed a metal pole and ran outside.

“I looked under the van, and I saw a body there. And then he looked at me, and he had the knife in his hand, so I just went and started hitting him,” Hayner said.

The suspect yelled, “I'm leaving!” before breaking free and running off.

Hayner believes the man was after his car's catalytic converter, which can sell for $1,500. And he says this wasn't the first time someone has tried to nab it in the last year.

“This is the fourth time this has happened. My adrenaline had just taken over — just all the frustration from the past year just kind of built up, and I just let him have it,” Hayner said.

Hayner says it never crossed his mind that he would get hurt.

“My first instinct was just to hurt him and stop him from trying to take my stuff,” Hayner said.

The suspect left behind a bag of power tools.

Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. An Inside Edition investigation last year found criminals cutting them off cars across the country.

So what can you do to protect your vehicle? Experts recommend installing a metal shield to thwart would-be criminals.

Hayner says he would do what he did again if given the chance.

“This time I would catch him and hold onto him,” Hayner said.

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