In rare prosecution, two North Side catalytic converter thieves plead guilty

Over the years, CWBChicago has reported many, many stories about catalytic converter thefts. But we’ve rarely reported about catalytic converter thieves being arrested, much less sentenced. So, today is a special day.

Two men charged in April with stealing catalytic converters on the North Side have reached plea deals with prosecutors. One of them is going to prison. The other received probation.

Police arrested Adisa Bowling and Brian Hill after witnesses reported seeing a man sawing parts off a car with another man serving as a lookout in Norwood Park. Cops saw a black Cadillac driving in the area with no headlights and pulled it over.

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

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

Prosecutors charged Bowling, the driver, with possessing a firearm with a defaced serial number, unlawful use of a weapon, theft, and driving on a suspended license. At the time, he had been on bail for a whopping four days since prosecutors charged him with manufacture-delivery of cannabis.

Another man in the car, Brian Hill, was 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.

After hearing the state’s allegations in April, 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.”

Bowling, 33, has now pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and manufacture-delivery of cannabis. He received consecutive sentences of three years and one year respectively. Authorities set March 31, 2023, as his anticipated parole date.

Hill pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage to property in exchange for a sentence of one year probation.

Prosecutors dropped all other charges that were pending against the men.

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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