Catalytic converter thieves are threatening people with guns on Northwest Side, Chicago police say

A group of catalytic converter thieves has been threatening people with a handgun on the Northwest Side, according to a community alert issued Wednesday morning by Chicago police.

The warning from CPD comes one day after a 73-year-old man shot at an armed catalytic converter crew in Lincoln Park, but police have not linked that incident to the pattern.

Chicago police have linked incidents at these locations to the armed catalytic converter theft team. | Multiplottr

Police said the Northwest Side crew travels in a black Audi and has been working during the afternoon and early evening hours. The car is a sedan with dark-tinted windows and Wisconsin license plates, according to one police report that CWB Chicago reviewed.

Whenever someone confronts the crew in the middle of a theft, they threaten the person with a firearm, according to Chicago police.

The alert said the group struck in:

  • the 3300 block of West Newport at 4:50 p.m. on February 15
  • the 3700 block of North Lawndale at 5:20 p.m. on February 15
  • the 3700 block of West Berteau twice at 5:38 p.m. on February 15
  • the 7000 block of West School at 3:30 p.m. on February 18
  • the 3000 block of North Sayre at 3:54 p.m. on February 18

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call detectives at 312-746-7394 and reference pattern #P23-5-012.

In the Lincoln Park incident, a 73-year-old man saw two thieves trying to steal his catalytic converter in the 2000 block of North Larrabee around 3:40 a.m. Tuesday. He confronted the thieves, and one of them brandished a firearm, prompting the victim to open fire, a police spokesperson said.

Both thieves escaped in a dark SUV, which struck a parked car as they fled the scene, according to police.

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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