Armed catalytic converter thieves evade cops in Lakeview, Lincoln Park

An armed catalytic converter theft team that was captured on video in Humboldt Park last week escaped from cops who spotted them in the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods Friday morning.

Officers responded to multiple 911 calls of two men driving a white Mercedes who were stealing catalytic converters from cars on the 1100 block of West Altgeld at 6:40 a.m.

Witnesses said the men were using a long tool to detach parts from under parked cars.

Police spotted the white Mercedes in traffic a short time later as it traveled northbound on Sheffield near George Street. Officers confirmed that the men in the car matched images of two catalytic converter thieves who were seen in a video that circulated last week.

Other officers spotted the car again moments later near Sheffield and Roscoe and again near Belmont and Halsted. But cops were not allowed to pursue the Mercedes and it sped out onto southbound Lake Shore Drive, officers said.

CWBChicago last week posted video of the theft crew at work in Humboldt Park after the footage originally appeared on a local neighborhood watch page. In the video, one man stands near the trunk of the Mercedes with a gun in his hand while the other man climbs under a parked car and emerges with a severed catalytic converter.

The Mercedes’ trunk is stuffed with stolen converters.

Catalytic converter thieves typically use saws to remove the devices from under parked vehicles, then sell them for $100 to $200 each at scrapyards. The parts are especially valuable because they contain expensive metals.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com