Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Catalytic Converter Thieves Hitting North Side

courtesy of KSL.com Channel 5
Unfortunately, there's a ring of catalytic converter thieves working the 19th District. Since June 30th, they've taken catalytic converters from at least 11 vehicles in Lakeview, Ravenswood, Roscoe Village, and Lakeview... and one in Uptown, on the 4700 block of Malden.

There is no description of the thieves, but they generally take the converters from vehicles parked on the street during overnight hours.

If you see someone lying next to a parked vehicle or acting suspiciously, call 911 and report "suspicious activity."

To repeat a previous post from 2014:

The thieves use a Sawzall, which enables them to get under your vehicle and remove the catalytic converter in only a few minutes.  They get $50 or so for the precious metals contained in it, and it costs you considerably more to replace it.

In previous posts, we repeated the advice of experts:  "There are deterrents -- engraving your license plate number on your catalytic converter, having it welded to the car frame, or asking a muffler shop attach some extra metal to make it harder to remove.  The best deterrent is to look out for your neighbors and call 911 if you see anyone inspecting their cars or lying or crouching near it."

We imagine that any mechanics shop or body shop in the area would be glad to weld some braces to your car to discourage theft.  Cheap compared to the hassle and frustration of having to have your car or SUV repaired.  Just another joy of living in a big city.


  1. Anybody with a cordless sawzall could just cut through whatever you have welded on to the catalytic converter too!

    Years ago people were stealing sewer covers and scrapping them for 50 cents a piece. They could never stop the thieves but the police did arrest the scrap yard that was taking perfectly good city sewers in trade. Maybe the CPD needs to start regulating who can scrap a catalytic converter. If you are that handy and changed your own converter and wanted to scrap and recycle, good for you. But... if you drove into a scrap yard with a trunk full I gotta believe that questions should be asked. Muffler shops do not throw away the used converters. How would a random person just happen to have a bunch of converters laying around? Hmmmm

  2. There's a Chicago law saying you have to prove the part is yours now but the cop I talked to at our community meeting said they're just taking them to Indiana now. Hence the uptick in thefts. Once again, thanks Indiana.

  3. Our taxes are so high even the thieves are going to Indiana to shop!