Man with apparently no criminal history — and whose catalytic converter was just stolen — accused of fatally stabbing man who cops say tried to steal rims from his SUV

A New York man with apparently no criminal history — and whose catalytic converter was stolen two months ago — is accused of fatally stabbing a man who cops say tried to steal tires and rims from his SUV.

What are the details?

Detectives said 28-year-old Jacob Alvarenga Mejia saw three men trying to steal the wheel rims and tires from his 2023 Toyota Highlander, which was parked in front of his Long Island home around 1:30 a.m. May 13, WABC-TV reported.

Mejia is accused of walking outside his home with a large kitchen knife and stabbing one of the men multiple times, the station said.

Luis Pena, 22, of the Bronx died at a hospital, WABC noted.

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“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 Det. Capt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said, according to the station. “He stabbed him multiple times; those stab wounds caused the death of Mr. Pena.”

According to WNYW-TV, the suspects saw Mejia coming and ran to their car, but Mejia caught the last one getting in — Pena — and stabbed him multiple times in the back.

Mejia’s attorney said his client has no prior criminal history, WABC added.

Police said at least one of the suspects fired shots while fleeing the scene of the alleged theft attempt, but no one was hit, WABC said.

Investigators have located and interviewed the suspects, and authorities indicated that charges against them are likely, WABC added.

Mejia was arraigned Friday on charges of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault, WABC said, adding that he’s being held on $1 million bond.

(H/T: The Police Tribune)

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