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.
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.