Finally! Cops snare catalytic converter theft crew on Northwest Side, prosecutors say

Police frequently warn Chicagoans about catalytic converter thieves, but the elusive, night crawling auto part snatchers are rarely caught.

That changed when police responded to a call of someone sawing parts off a car with another man acting as lookout on the 6500 block of North McLeod on the Northwest Side around 1:50 a.m. Tuesday.

The witness told police that the crew fled in a black Cadillac. Minutes later, cops spotted a black Cadillac driving around the area with its headlights off and pulled it over.

A drill and saw were lying in plain view on the car’s back seat and two catalytic converters were inside the trunk, prosecutors said Wednesday. Cops also allegedly found a loaded handgun with a defaced serial number in the glove box.

Adisa Bowling (inset) and the defaced handgun police said they found in his glove compartment. | CPD

Police took the Cadillac’s occupants into custody. The arrests came less than a day after CWBChicago reported police were hunting for catalytic converter theft crews on the Northwest Side and in Lakeview.

Prosecutors charged the driver, 33-year-old Adisa Bowling with possessing a firearm with a defaced serial number, unlawful use of a weapon, theft, and driving on a suspended license.

It was the second time Bowling had been arrested in four days. Last Friday, prosecutors charged him with manufacture-delivery of narcotics. He got out of jail on a recognizance bond Saturday. Bowling has seven previous felony convictions — five for narcotics, one for gun possession, and one for escape, prosecutors said.

His defense attorney said he lives with his wife and has twelve children.

After hearing the state’s allegations, Judge Charles Beach said the scenario of stealing car parts in a residential area while armed with a handgun is “a recipe for disaster, quite frankly.” Beach then ordered Bowling held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the narcotics case. The judge set bail for the new allegations at $45,000 and ordered Bowling to go onto electronic monitoring if he posts the required 10% deposit.

Another man in the car, Brian Hill, is charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property. Police also cited the 20-year-old for possession of burglary tools and attempted theft, according to a CPD spokesperson.

Police did not release a mug shot for Hill because he is not charged with a felony.

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