ZEBULON, N.C. (WNCN) – A 50-year-old man was killed when a car fell on top of him while he was trying to steal its catalytic converter, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office said.
Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, deputies were called to the area of U.S. 64 and Debnam Road near Zebulon following the report of a body being found.
The body was discovered by a tow truck driver who was called to remove a disabled Toyota Camry.
Deputies found the body of Joshua Larry Diehl pinned under the Camry, the sheriff’s office said.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said investigators believe Diehl was trying to steal the Camry’s catalytic converter when the jack he used to hoist the car malfunctioned.
“It is unknown how long Diehl may have been under the vehicle before being discovered,” the sheriff’s office said.
The owner of the car said she was driving home Sunday when she got a flat tire. She called a friend to give her a ride around 10 p.m. as she had no way to change her tire.
At some point, the sheriff’s office said Diehl found the disabled car and tried to steal the catalytic converter.
“Unfortunately, these types of thefts are on the rise,” Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said. “This is a national problem, partly due to the increased value of the precious metals in the part.”
Wake County investigators are looking to see if Diehl is connected to similar reports of catalytic converter thefts in the area.