Officers responded around 4:45 a.m. to reports of a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian in the 8100 block of Timberlake Way, Sacramento police told Fox News Digital via email.
Police said that officers arrived at the scene and found the man with serious injuries. He was rushed to a hospital and was pronounced dead.
The man was identified as 28-year-old Jose Adolfo Rangel, the Sacramento Bee reported, citing the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.
Investigators said they believe the suspect was tampering with the vehicle to steal its catalytic converter before the collision.
Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system and control emissions. It contains valuable metals that criminals can cut out in seconds and sell to scrapyards for profit. Replacing a stolen catalytic converter could cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Catalytic converter thefts have risen in cities across the country this year.
Police in Minneapolis have reported a nearly 38% jump in catalytic converter theft compared to this time last year. Dallas has seen a 20% increase, and Philadelphia police have seen a 172% increase. According to Las Vegas Police Department data, officers have seen a roughly 87% hike.
Fox News’ Mills Hayes contributed to this report.