Man crushed by car trying to steal catalytic converter from car dealership, detectives say
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC/Gray News) – The owners of a car dealership in Georgia were shocked to find a body under a car when they arrived to work Tuesday morning.
“I didn’t even get close to him. I called the police right away,” South Bound Auto Sales owner Mike Abouharb said.
Abouharb found the body crushed under the car. From what he saw and what was left behind, he said it appeared the man was trying to steal a catalytic converter.
Chatham County detectives confirmed Wednesday, 32-year-old Matthew Eric Smith’s death was “the result of an attempted catalytic converter theft.”
Abouharb said it’s been tough keeping the doors open to his business over the years.
“Name it ... it happened,” he said. “In any given year, you got between $30 to $50,000 lost in catalytic converters, radios, even tires.”
Tuesday morning’s incident, though, has made them question what the future will look like.
“Everybody thinks the car business, you’re shoveling money. But you make a little money, then get a hit like this and it makes a big toll. It’s a hardship. It’s not worth it,” Abouharb said.
The car dealership said it might consider changing its business model in the near future.
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