By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A man was shot and wounded Monday morning while allegedly trying to steal a catalytic converter from a car in Exposition Park.

The shooting happened at about 1:40 a.m. in the 1800 block of West 35th Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

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The car’s owner saw a man under his car, and when he got up holding an “unknown object,” the owner pulled out a gun and shot him, police said.

The alleged thief ran from the scene but was found by officers. He was taken to a hospital and is in stable condition.

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The shooting is under investigation, police said.

Catalytic converter theft have skyrocketed in the last year, with major arrests made in Torrance, Santa Clarita and San Bernardino. Police agencies are trying to head off the problem by hosting free etching events to make it easier to track down stolen catalytic converters.

Monday’s incident was also not the first time such a theft has resulted in injury or death. Earlier this year, one thief was crushed to death by the car he was underneath in Anaheim, and two men were killed when they crashed through a block wall and into a Garden Grove pool with a catalytic converter and a power saw in their truck.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)