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Man crushed to death by car during theft of tires
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A 47-year-old Modesto man died Friday morning when a car fell on top of him as he was allegedly stealing its tires.

The death occurred in the 800 block of E. Hatch Road in South Modesto.

Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputies said the victim was apparently trying to strip tires and rims from the stolen Cadillac parked in a vacant field.

The vehicle was missing both passenger side tires and the passenger side was being held up with cinderblocks, a piece of lumber and rocks. Detectives said the victim was trying to remove the driver side tires when the makeshift jacks on the passenger side failed and caused the vehicle to shift and fall on him. Both passenger side tires were missing when officers arrived.

The trapped man was spotted at 5:30 a.m. by a female walking in the area. She flagged down some people who helped lift the car off the man and pull him out. By then the fire department and paramedics arrived on scene. He was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The owner of the vehicle did not know who the victim was.

The victim was transient living in the Modesto area.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Detective Darwin Hatfield at 525-7100. Callers may also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636.