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Bill named after slain Texas deputy would make catalytic converter theft a felony

Deputy Darren Almendarez was shot and killed while confronting suspected catalytic converter thieves near his truck in a grocery store parking lot


KVUE/Alice Almendarez/YouTube

By Bill Carey

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A new bill in the Texas legislature would make catalytic converter theft a felony, allowing prosecutors to treat it as an organized crime.

Senate Bill 224 is named after Harris County deputy Darren Almendarez, who was shot and killed off-duty in 2022, KBTX reported.

“He interrupted three individuals who were attempting to steal his catalytic converter and he was tragically shot and killed,” said Sen. Carol Alvarado.

On March 31, 2022, Almendarez and his wife were grocery shopping when he spotted three men attempting to steal a catalytic converter from his truck. When the deputy confronted them, he was shot.

Almendarez’s wife, Flor, told KVUE she hopes the bill shows the “ultimate sacrifice” that her husband made so that no other family has to go through what she did: “It’s my honor to do everything that I can for his life, his death doesn’t go in vain.”