Chicago — They may be the most courteous catalytic converter theft crew in Chicago — and probably one of the slowest. But a video of this three-man team at work on the North Side earlier this month shows how bold and carefree the city’s catalytic converter crews are.
The video, taken on December 3 in West Rogers Park, shows the team pulling up next to a vehicle around 6:12 a.m. Unlike the lightning-fast, armed crews that routinely steal catalytic converters in under a minute, this team takes a leisurely three minutes to complete its task.
And when another driver comes down the street, one crew member courteously waves them by while another vigorously cranks a floor jack. Watch:
Last month, federal authorities arrested 21 people who were allegedly part of a massive nationwide operation that trafficked and processed stolen catalytic converters. The ring, which officials said had revenues of at least $545 million, even had its own apps, website, and formal shipping arrangements to make trafficking in the stolen parts easy.
But theft teams are still prowling the city, usually at night, to get a piece of the action.
Just three days after the video above was recorded, an off-duty Chicago police officer fired shots at a catalytic converter crew that pointed a gun at him in the Irving Park neighborhood. No injuries were reported.
A few days before Thanksgiving, another crew fired shots at a security guard who interrupted their work near a hotel in the South Loop. No injuries were reported there, either.