Man killed in downtown KC after car he was allegedly trying to steal from fell on him

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A person is dead after a car he was trying to steal from reportedly fell on top of him.

The owner of the vehicle tells FOX4 the man was trying to steal the catalytic converter from under the Prius.

Police are still investigating what happened Friday morning in a parking lot near 7th Street and Baltimore Avenue, only confirming that a person was killed under a car.

The owner of the Toyota Prius, who didn't want to be identified, said he was at work when he learned his car had crushed a man.

The catalytic converter the thief was allegedly trying to steal is a device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants from a vehicle's exhaust system.

"When it comes to catalytic converters being stolen, it's a common occurrence," said James Garten, a service adviser at KC Complete Auto.

Garten said catalytic converters on Priuses have valuable metals like palladium, rhodium and platinum.

Thieves can make a quick buck off them.

"They like to scrap them out," Garten said. "They take them to different scrapyards, and they will scrap them out. Nowadays, a lot of scrapyards will take catalytic converters, but you have to supply them with titles."

And for owners, replacing the part isn't cheap.

"You're looking at $300-400, and that's the cheapest I've ever seen," Garten said. "They can go as high as $1,600-2,500 pending on the application."

The owner of the vehicle said a person in another vehicle apparently tried to lift the Prius off the man using a jack, but the man died at the scene.

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