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Catalytic converter thieves shoot at San Francisco Police officers

A mechanic works under a lifted vehicle, fixing or inspecting a component.
Luis Benitez installs one of four new catalytic converters onto a Chevrolet Silverado at Johnny Franklin's Muffler in San Rafael. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images | Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

San Francisco police officers were shot at Tuesday after responding to a catalytic converter theft in progress.

The incident happened at approximately 4:22 a.m., when officers from Richmond Station were called to California Street and Ninth Avenue.

While responding to the scene, officers were advised that there were possibly three unknown males involved that had just got into their vehicle and fled the scene, a police spokesperson said in an email statement.

Officers located the vehicle and the suspects in the area of McAllister Street and Arguello Boulevard.

The suspects exited the vehicle, a foot chase began and one of the suspects fired a gun at the officers.

READ MORE: These Are Oakland’s Worst Areas for Catalytic Converter Theft. One Mechanic Gets 25 Calls a Day

Thefts of catalytic converters have nearly tripled since the beginning of the pandemic. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

No officers or bystanders were struck by gunfire, and no officers returned fire at the suspects, police said.

Officers were able to take one of the suspects into custody and also found a firearm which was discarded by one of the suspects in the foot chase.

Multiple officers responded to the scene and established a perimeter around the area.

Officers determined that the second suspect fled the scene. Officers developed information that the third suspect possibly entered a building on the 3500 block of Geary Boulevard.

Officers from the SFPD Tactical Team and Crisis/Hostage Negotiations Team arrived on the scene and attempted to make contact with the third suspect.

Tactical officers entered and conducted a sweep of the building and determined that the third suspect was not in the building and had fled the scene prior to officers establishing the perimeter.  

Joe Burn can be reached at

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