Man shot in leg trying to stop catalytic converter theft in Sunnyvale

A Sunnyvale man was shot in the leg early Wednesday morning as four people tried to steal his catalytic converter from his car in the driveway. 

The Sunnyvale Department of Safety said the man was taken to the hospital and should be released later in the day.

Officers said that they were called out to a home in the 1500 block of Klamath Drive at 3:30 a.m. When they got there, the man told them that he had been fired at multiple times after he went out to confront four suspects who were in the middle of stealing his catalytic converter.

One suspect shot at the victim multiple times with two bullets hitting the car, one striking the house and the fourth hitting the victim.

The suspects fled in a dark sedan, police said. 

Capt. Dzanh Le said that the suspects didn't end up taking the catalytic converter in the end. 


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"In my 20 years in Sunnyvale this is the first time I can think of that someone shot at a victim over the theft of a catalytic converter," said Le.

Many residents expressed concern over the shooting, saying incidents like these aren't the norm in single-family homes, where children play in the streets and crime is not top of mind.

"The thing that people tout about Sunnyvale is that it was named one of the safest cities in America," said Sunnyvale resident Gil Levy.

The victim was taken to the hospital to be treated for his gunshot wound and is recovering at home according to his wife.

"It's very upsetting that someone would be shot here in Sunnyvale, across the street from my house It really does question safety, but I think it's happening everywhere," said the victim's neighbor Shelly Hagen.

Police caution people to be vigilant.  If possible park their cars inside a garage.  When parking outside, choose a well-lit area. 

"No property is worth your life. If you do suspect something is happening, be a good witness, call 911," said Le.

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