30 catalytic converters reported stolen over 8 days in 16th District; police interrupted theft crew on Oak Park Ave., recovering converters, gun
by BRIAN NADIG
Numerous catalytic converters and a gun were recovered when officers interrupted the apparent theft of a converter from a parked car at about 4 a.m. Friday, June 18, in the 5400 block of North Oak Park Avenue, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) District police.
In addition, during a recent eight-day stretch in the district about 30 catalytic converters were reported stolen. The district is urging residents to park their vehicle in a garage if possible due to a higher number of thefts in recent months.
The man seen under the parked vehicle on Oak Park and another man who was the apparent lookout fled on foot, but officers stopped their pursuit when the men reached a main street, West Higgins Avenue, due to concerns for the men’s safety since they could be struck by a vehicle in traffic, according to police.
The officers yelled, “Stop running,” but the men did not obey the officers’ command, police said. A flash message with a description of the men was sent out, alerting other patrols in the area of the incident, but no arrests were made, police said.
In March the Chicago Police Department implemented a new foot chase policy that instructs officers to consider the risks to themselves, the offenders and the general public.
The men’s car, described s a 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan, was doubled parked on Oak Park, and the officers reported finding inside the vehicle a handgun with an extended magazine, ammunition, about 20 catalytic converters and several license plates, police said. A carjack also was recovered.
One of the men was described as Black, age 20 to 25, 5-8 to 5-10, with a dark complexion and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants, and the other man was described only as wearing black sweatpants, police said.
In addition, a couple reported that they confronted two men who were trying to saw off the converter from a parked car at about 1:25 a.m. Monday, June 14, in the 4900 block of North Merrimac Avenue, police said. The couple reported that they were alerted to the incident when they heard noise outside their residence, police said.
The men reportedly told the couple to “mind your own business” and drove off in a later model Honda Accord with black tinted windows. The men were described as Black and age 17 to 23.
Two other residents in the 4900 block of Merrimac reported having the converter stolen from their vehicle on June 14.
The theft of catalytic converters was reported between June 12 and 19 in the following blocks: 4700 block of North Laporte Avenue, 6300 block of North Mobile Avenue, 3900 block of North Melvina Avenue, 5100 block of West Wilson Avenue, 4900 block of North Merrimac Avenue, 3800 block of North Harlem Avenue, 4800 block of West Henderson Street, 5200 block of North Reserve Avenue, 7800 block of West Berwyn Avenue, 8300 and 8700 blocks of West Summerdale Avenue, 7700 block of West Balmoral Avenue, 7200 and 7800 blocks of West Rascher Avenue, 6200 block of West Waveland Avenue, 6200 block of North Nagle Avenue, 6100 block of West Berenice Avenue, 5200 block of North Mason Avenue, 3900 block of North Nottingham Avenue, 4400 block of North Lamon Avenue, 6500 block of North Sayre Avenue, 7600 block of West Gregory Street, 5500 block of North Oketo Avenue, 5500 block of North Octavia Avenue, 6800 block of West Higgins Avenue and 5500 block of North McVicker Avenue.