3 charged with catalytic converter theft after their car crashes on North Side

Three men face misdemeanor theft charges after police found apparently stolen catalytic converters in their vehicle following a car crash in Avondale last week.

Meanwhile, a man who police allegedly caught sawing a catalytic converter off a car in the South Loop yesterday is not charged with theft. He is, however, accused of illegally carrying a gun while on bail for another felony gun charge.

In the Avondale case, police received calls of three men traveling in a black car who were sawing catalytic converters off vehicles on the 3700 block of North Christiana around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. Minutes later, the driver of a black Infiniti sedan sped through a red light on the 3400 block of West Addison and slammed into a car that was traveling south on Kimball.

L to R: Arties Anderson, Anthony Gooden, and Harvey Rogers | CPD

Cops found several catalytic converters and an electric saw inside and near the black Infiniti, according to a police report. The Infiniti’s driver and his two passengers were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Police said the driver of the other car was also injured.

The Infiniti’s driver, Harvey Rogers Jr, 25, is charged with reckless driving, possession of burglary tools, and theft of lost or mislaid property. Those are all misdemeanors.

His two passengers, 26-year-old Anthony Gooden Jr and Arties Anderson, 24, are each charged with possession of burglary tools and theft of lost or mislaid property.

All three men were released on their own recognizance, according to CPD records.

South Loop case

Marquis Johnson | CCSO

Just after 1 a.m. Sunday, police responded to a call of three men sawing catalytic converters off cars on the 1600 block of South Indiana. Cops soon found two men standing next to a jacked-up Honda and a third man under the car, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Dinard.

All three men ran from the scene as police arrived. Cops allegedly saw the man who was under the car, identified by Dinard as 21-year-old Marquis Johnson, carrying a gun as he ran from the Honda.

Johnson dropped the gun while entering a nearby SUV and sped from the scene, Dinard said. Cops followed him and watched as he allegedly jumped out of the still-moving SUV on the 1400 block of South Michigan moments later. They arrested him nearby.

Back at the original scene, police found an electric saw lodged in the jacked-up Honda’s partially severed catalytic converter, Dinard said. They also recovered the gun that Johnson allegedly dropped.

Prosecutors did not charge Johnson with trying to steal the catalytic converter. But they did charge him with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was already on bail for the same charge.

Johnson’s private defense attorney, David Gaeger, said he has no felony background. He works for a transportation company and has one child, according to Gaeger.

Judge Susana Ortiz cited Johnson’s “significant flight” and allegations that he left the car rolling when he bailed out as she set his bail at $75,000 on Sunday. He must post 10% of that amount to go home on electronic monitoring under Ortiz’s order.

Separately, Ortiz ordered Johnson held without bail for violating bond conditions in his pending gun case.

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