Man confronts catalytic converter thieves in Fremont, gets shot at

Police in Fremont are investigating a daytime shooting over a catalytic converter. A man was shot at after he tried to stop the thieves from stealing the valuable car part.

It happened near Havasu Street in the Warm Springs neighborhood at 10:30 a.m. The car owner wasn’t a resident, but working on a home remodel.

The owner of an older gray Honda Accord was seen assessing the damage Friday afternoon after neighbors say someone tried to steal the catalytic converter. It turned violent fast.

"I used to hear of shooting happening but now it is in front of my house," said Suruch Dubey of Fremont.

Neighbors heard the shots ring out and at first, many neighbors thought the noise was from a home remodel.

It turns out thieves targeted a car belonging to one of the construction workers. Neighbors said the worker caught the suspects in the act.

"When he had tried to intervene and stop the guys in the getaway car, they started shooting and there was six bullets that were shot towards him," said Joshua Handjojo of Fremont.

Neighbors said the worker used his tools and went after the suspect’s car.

"He grabbed something either a metal tool or equipment he was working on and smashed the window," said Handjojo.

No one was hurt. Bullet casings were found on the street and a bullet hit a post on a house. Neighbors call it brazen.

"They were three cars parked there and they chose one car so I don’t know if they are more valuable," said Jan Lenci of Fremont.

"It is my understanding that there is possibly two vehicles that the suspects may have been tampering," said Yanneth Contrada of Fremont Police.

Police said catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in the Bay Area. The car part takes seconds to steal and are high value.

In Fremont alone, police recorded 100 catalytic converter thefts in August up from 80 reports in July.

"It is alarming, it is concerning, we want to try to encourage our community members not to intervene," said Contrada.

Instead, police said call 911. It’s not worth anyone getting hurt. Neighbors plan to be extra cautious.

"We have one car parked on the street so maybe we will rethink that and free up some space in the garage," said Handjojo.

Police have not provided a description of the suspects. Neighbors said camera footage has been turned over to police that may have captured the suspects and the getaway car.

Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at and follow her on Twitter , Instagram and Facebook.