KEYPORT — In the early morning hours of the final day of 2021, borough police said one of their own was dragged by a vehicle fleeing the scene of an apparent catalytic converter theft.

The officer is "OK and recovering," police said in a Facebook post, but it was a harrowing sequence that began just before 3:30 a.m. Friday on Main Street.

The suspect was reported to have struggled with the officer before getting into what police believe was an older model, light gray or silver four-door sedan, striking and dragging the officer.

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Partial views of both the car and the suspect are visible in an image accompanying the KPD Facebook post.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Robert Hassmiller at 732-264-0706.

Police departments across New Jersey have been warning residents about the dangers of leaving vehicles unattended, as catalytic converters contain precious metals that are valuable on secondhand markets.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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