ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man catches thieves in broad daylight trying to steal his catalytic converter; fed up with the uptick in crime, he fights back.

Donny Buehler stopped at his south St. Louis home for lunch around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. When suddenly, he heard a loud noise as he was locking up.

“It was a guy with a saw blade,” Buehler said.

A thief was under his car trying to saw off the catalytic converter.

“I came around the side of the car, kind of woke him up with a little kick real quick,” Buehler said. “Guy popped up and said ‘I’m leaving, I’m leaving,’ I said ‘No, you’re not.'”

Buehler came face to face with the thief, and he took matters into his own hands, fending off the criminals.

“He’s telling his buddy to unlock the door, so I’m thinking to myself no, I’m going to open your door,” Buehler said. “So I open the door, driver looked like he was very startled, they had a number of saws on the floor. I tried to grab for the saw, couldn’t get it, and as they tore off, I told them not to come back in fewer words.”

“Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have done what I did, but I’m not sorry that I did,” Buehler said. “I think south city as a whole is kind of fed up with the situation.”

Thankfully, he was able to fend off the thieves, not get hurt and save his catalytic converter from being stolen, but for many others, the consequences are costly.

“This is the converter, this is where they had to cut through it,” said Eric James, the owner of St. Louis Hills Auto Service. “This is thick pipe, it’s not very easy to get through.”

James said the recent uptick in converter thefts has put car owners out thousands of dollars.

“The precious metals in this are what they’re going after, it’s platinum and rhodium,” he said. “It’s easy money.”

“It’s your stuff, take pride in it and take care of it,” Buehler said. “If you don’t stop it, who’s going to.”

Buehler claims they called the police, but they never showed up.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed a call was made, but no report was filed. They said they would investigate it further.