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Victim Of Catalytic Converter Theft Fatally Stabs Suspect Who Tried To Steal His Wheels

Bellerose, NY – A frustrated Long Island resident who was recently the victim of a catalytic converter theft is behind bars for allegedly stabbing a man to death after catching him trying to steal the wheels off of his vehicle, according to police.

Jacob Alvarenga Mejia, 28, was inside his home on Jericho Turnpike at about 1:30 a.m. on May 13 when he spotted three suspects attempting to steal the rims and tires off of his 2023 Toyota Highlander parked out front, WABC reported.

“Mr. Mejia was a victim of a catalytic converter theft two months prior that enraged him to the point that when this was happening, he went outside and took matters too far,” Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) Detective Captain Stephen Fitzpatrick told the news outlet.

Investigators said Mejia grabbed a large kitchen knife and walked outside to confront the thieves, WABC reported.

During the encounter, he allegedly stabbed one of the suspects multiple times in the torso.

“He was not surrounded. He was not acting in a defensive mode,” Det. Capt. Fitzpatrick told WNYW. “He was an aggressor in this incident.”

As the three suspects fled the scene, at least one of them fired a gun, according to police.

No one was hit.

The suspect Mejia allegedly stabbed showed up at a hospital for treatment but did not survive, WABC reported.

He has been identified as 22-year-old Luis Pena.

Police said the other two suspects turned themselves in to police in New York City, WABC reported.

They have been interviewed and are expected to face charges.

Mejia was arrested on May 25 on charges of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault, the NCPD said in a press release on Friday.

He had no prior criminal history, WABC reported.

Mejia’s bond was set at $1 million.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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