CHICAGO — In our years of reporting, the CWB Chicago team has told you about many people accused of having stolen catalytic converters in their cars. Chicago cops have allegedly found people hauling twelve, twenty-four, even twenty-six stolen catalytic converters around town.
But this may be a new record: Izarious Cannon, 22, is accused of having 38 stolen catalytic converters inside his car at a West Side gas station Thursday afternoon.
“Thirty-eight catalytic converters inside the car?” Judge Maryam Ahmad asked a prosecutor to confirm during Cannon’s bail hearing Friday afternoon.
“Yes,” replied Assistant State’s Attorney Alexander Konetzki.
He told the judge that police received a 911 call around 1 p.m. about a suspicious vehicle filled with catalytic converters at the BP station, 1754 North Central, in Austin.
Surveillance video allegedly showed Cannon and an accomplice opening the trunk of the car to show the catalytic converters to other people. Ahmad said she had information that Cannon was trying to sell the severed car parts.
As soon as the cops pulled into the lot, the car sped away, but it crashed nearby, and the driver, allegedly Cannon, sprinted into a house, Konetzki said.
Officers arrested Cannon after the homeowner agreed to let them come in to get him. Konetzki said the car Cannon crashed is registered to Cannon’s accomplice, who lives in the home.
Prosecutors charged Cannon with unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving without being issued a license. The stolen motor vehicle charge is based on a section of Illinois law that makes stealing an “essential part” of a car equal to stealing the entire vehicle.
Konetzki said Cannon has two felony narcotics cases pending, one from October 2019 and the other from April 2020.
Ahmad held Cannon without bail for violating bond in those cases. As for the new allegations, he will need to post a $9,000 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring.
Teams of thieves sell stolen catalytic converters, which contain small amounts of very expensive precious metals, on the black market.
According to State Farm, it paid out just $651,000 for about 480 catalytic converter thefts in Illinois during 2019. During the first eight months of last year, the company paid out $5.3 million for 2,770 claims. Illinois ranked third in catalytic converter theft payouts, behind California and Texas, the company said.