Catalytic converter theft suspect fatally stabbed by South El Monte homeowner: LASD

Los Angeles County investigators said a South El Monte homeowner took matters into his own hands when he interrupted an alleged catalytic converter theft in progress early Friday morning.

Authorities said the incident occurred just before 3 a.m. at a home in the 11200 block of Thienes Avenue.

The homeowner told deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department he was sleeping when he heard a group of men talking in his driveway. In response, he grabbed a kitchen knife and went to confront the group of up to four burglars who were reportedly in the process of stealing a catalytic converter from his vehicle parked in the driveway. At some point during the confrontation, investigators said the homeowner stabbed one of the suspects, identified Saturday as Juan Alarcon.

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The circumstances that led to the altercation turning violent are unknown. 

Investigators confirmed tools consistent with stealing catalytic converters were found next to the suspect’s body. At this stage of the investigation, it’s unknown what happened to the other suspects. 

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LASD officials said the homeowner was detained for questioning.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the LASD.