A robber was crushed to death by a car while trying to steal its catalytic converter in the middle of the night.
Gary Gray, a mechanic in London, has gone under a Vauxhall Astra car after holding it up with a car jack. But the jack came loose and the car forcefully came down, suffocating him, and leaving him with no chance of survival.
Gray was trying to steal the catalytic converter when the car fell on him
The assistant manager of JB Autos, the repair garage Gary Gray (name of the intruder) went to steal from, arrived at work the following morning and was appalled to see a man's legs poking out underneath a car parked at the company's compound located at Marshgate Industrial Estate.
Gray has his hands covered in oil and dirt, while his torch was left on. Also in the scene, a cutting tool was still stuck in the car's exhaust and a bag was seen filled with spanners, a watch, a bottle of methadone and cooking foil.
An employee, Vilfredo Fernandes, said the compound was empty when he locked up for the day.
In his written statement, Fernandes narrated,
I’ve worked there for four years and part of my day-to-day work is opening and closing the premises. I finished work on the 14th at the usual time, around 6pm. Prior to finishing, I locked up the compounds, making sure that there were no customers around.
The next day, I arrived around 8am and I could see a pair of legs on the floor sticking out from under a car which had a black car-jack near the front wheel.
I called my boss, told him what happened, and he told me to call an ambulance.
Paramedics who were called to the scene pronounced Gray dead on the spot. The police stated that he was trying to steal the car's catalytic converter which is thought to be worth £60 (28,000) when resold.
A catalytic converter is a pollution device that's built under a car. Naijauto reports that thieves go after them because it has a precious metal (platinum) inside it which is sold to scrap yards for some cash.
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The repair garage where Gray went to steal the catalytic converter
The manager of the repair garage, James Brown told local media this was not the sole theft that the garage had ever had to face:
There is a six-to-eight feet-high fence around each compound and I keep scrap cars for spare parts inside the second.
Over the years I have had a number of thefts, so I keep the vehicles unlocked to stop people damaging them and smashing the windows before they realise there’s nothing valuable inside them.
The vehicles are left in gear with the handbrake off to stop the brakes seizing
From his statement, one could see why the car moved while Gray was under it.
The police officer, Sgt Scott Anger, investigating Gray's death said,
He was in the process of stealing a catalytic converter but his chest had been compressed. He had gained entry illegally overnight.
This was not an industrial accident and was filed as a non-suspicious sudden death.
The car jack had been dislodged. He had placed a wooden panel under him to prevent him lying on the cold ground. This raised his body closer to the car, which was left in neutral and would have rolled off the car jack because it was not secure.
The pathologist who examined his corpse said Gray had no noticeable external injuries, agreeing on the same cause announced by the police. In the pathologist's investigation, it disclosed Gary's left rib was fractured from the incident.