Catalytic converter theft team captured in rare video

Video of a catalytic converter theft team posted to a Humboldt Park neighborhood watch page Thursday morning is going viral — for several reasons.

First, it’s rare for the thieves who steal converters from cars to be caught on video — particularly during daylight hours. Then, there’s the pile of stolen catalytic converters in the thieves’ trunk. Did we mention the handgun that one of the guys appears to be carrying?

It all went down on the 3300 block of West Evergreen around 5 a.m. Thursday, according to the post.

As you probably know, catalytic converter thieves 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.

Birds are heard chirping gleefully in the trees as the 90-second video begins. A man wearing a black t-shirt and conscientiously wearing a face mask to ward off COVID-19, steps to the back of a white Mercedes and pops the trunk.

The “trunk is full of the converters and the lookout has a gun in his hand,” the poster wrote.

About 20 seconds into the video, another car approaches. The man closes the trunk and his buddy, unseen until now, pops up from between two cars. They both climb back into the Mercedes until the other vehicle passes.

Then, it’s back to work. As the man in the black tee returns to the trunk, he’s holding something in his right hand. After looking around, he passes the object — which appears to be a gun — to his left hand and opens the trunk again. Then, he takes the object back into his right hand and holds it in his pants pocket.

Suddenly, his friend emerges from between the cars again and jumps into the driver’s seat. The lookout grabs a freshly-severed catalytic converter off the ground and tosses it into his trunk with the others.

And, since the duo is probably making $150 for that 90 seconds of work, it’s no wonder they’re driving a Mercedes.

“Be careful and call your nearest social worker if you see these guys,” the Facebook poster wrote. “They need a good talking to!”

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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