Man crushed to death stealing catalytic converter in Oakland

A Vacaville man was killed while allegedly stealing a catalytic converter in Oakland, according to police and media reports.

The coroner on Wednesday identified the man as 35-year-old Eric Chabot.

Oakland police said that on March 10 about 3 a.m., he was found underneath a car "committing a crime at the time of their death" in the 400 block of Lagunitas Avenue near Lake Merritt. 

The East Bay Times reported he was trying to steal a catalytic converter from a parked Prius nearby. 

Authorities told the news organization that it seems like the carjack Chabot was using malfunctioned causing the Prius to slip and crush him. A backpack containing cutting tools was found near him, authorities said.

The converter was still intact, police said. 

A growing number of people have been crushed to death while trying to steal catalytic converters in the past few years. 

One death happened in Berkeley in March 2020, another in Anaheim in March 2021, another occurred in Palmdale last month and a third occurred this month in Savannah, Georgia. 

Anyone with information should call the OPD Criminal Investigations Division at (510)238-3326.