A thief was in the middle of stealing a catalytic converter when he was confronted and chased away by his soon-to-be victim, security video shows.
Clay Hayner, a photographer, said it happened Thursday night outside his studio in Dallas’ Design District.
The video shows a man with what appears to be a bag of tools getting underneath Hayner’s van. Hayner said he got a notification from his Ring camera and went outside to see.
“I ran out there…I figured he’d run up the street by the time I got out there. And I look and he’s under there, and he’s got a knife. And I just kind of lost it,” he recalled . “And that’s when I started beating him.”
He’s seen such thefts before — and Thursday night’s incident was the third time he’s been targeted by catalytic converter thieves.
“So all this frustration of me having to watch the van constantly, them stealing my stuff. It just kind of built up,” he said.
Hayner said that he has to pay every time, and his insurance has skyrocketed.
“I work hard to have things; have a car, travel, do all this stuff. And then these guys just come in and take it and sell this calibrator for like $40,” he said.
The man is still on the run, Dallas police records show. Hayner says he hopes the man will get caught because he and his neighbors have had enough.
“We’re sick of this. We’re not going to put up with this anymore,” he said. “Everyone is so happy that I fought back. A bunch of neighbors came by to say thanks because I probably saved their cars from getting taken.”
And Hayner isn’t the only victim. This week in Carrollton, police shared images of hundreds of catalytic converters found in a storage unit. Investigators believe it is part of a fencing operation.