Car owner sees group trying to steal his tires and grabs knife, NY cops say. One dead

A man saw a group of three men trying to steal the tires and wheel rims off his parked vehicle, New York Police said. He then grabbed a kitchen knife before going outside and stabbing one of the men to death, according to the Nassau County Police Department.

Jacob Alvarenga Mejia, 28, was standing in his home in Bellerose Village when he saw the group attempting to steal the tires from his 2023 Toyota Highlander at about 1:30 a.m. May 13, according to a news release from the police department.

He approached the group with a “large kitchen knife” and stabbed one of the men, 22-year-old Luis Pena, “multiple times in his upper torso,” police said.

The other two men took Pena to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the police department.

Officers said they arrested Mejia on May 25. He is charged with first-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault, according to the police department.

Nassau County Police Department Det. Capt. Stephen Fitzpatrick told ABC7 that Mejia had his catalytic converter stolen two months prior to this incident.

“That enraged him to the point that when this was happening, he went outside and took matters too far,” he told the news outlet.

He is being held on a $1 million bond, ABC7 reported.

Attorney information for Mejia could not be found online.

Bellerose Village is located in Hempstead, about 20 miles east of New York City.

An obituary for Pena was not available online.

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