Chicago cops found 6 catalytic converters and a machine gun inside car linked to armored car robberies, officials say

Chicago police found six catalytic converters inside a stolen car that is suspected of being involved in an armored car robbery, officials said Saturday. And the man allegedly driving the stolen car got out of prison less than three weeks ago.

Those details emerged as prosecutors charged the man, identified as 20-year-old Vahsean Davenport, with possessing a stolen motor vehicle and other crimes. Davenport has an extensive juvenile history, with seven convictions for crimes ranging from carjacking to gun possession, prosecutors said Friday. A 15-year-old boy who was also in the car is charged with possessing a machine gun, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, and theft of lost or mislaid property, Chicago police said.

Vahsean Davenport was arrested on Lake Shore Drive near Chicago Avenue | Chicago Police Department; Google

It all started around 3:23 p.m. Thursday when a woman stepped outside to see why her car alarm was sounding in the 1300 block of West Crystal, just west of Goose Island. Officials said that she found a man standing next to her car with a gun and another man under her vehicle, apparently trying to remove the catalytic converter.

After threatening the woman with the gun, the men fled in an Infiniti Q70 that Chicago police records show was stolen from Insight Hospital in Bronzeville on Tuesday. Someone switched the plates on the car after it was stolen, and the new plates were also used by getaway cars involved in the robberies of armored cars, ATMs, and other crimes, officials said.

Around 4:50 p.m., police found the Infiniti stuck in traffic on Lake Shore Drive near Chicago Avenue in Streeterville. As officers approached the car, Davenport got out of the driver’s seat and started to walk away, prosecutors said. The cops arrested him and the 15-year-old. Police found four catalytic converters in the back seat and two more in the trunk, according to a Chicago police report.

During Davenport’s bond hearing on Friday, Judge Kelly McCarthy noted that the police report also said the car was involved in an attempted carjacking, robberies involving an armored truck, and catalytic converter theft.

Neither he nor the 15-year-old is charged with the armored car heists or carjacking.

“Mr. Davenport, you’re before the court. You’re 20 years old, and you have a larger criminal record than most adults that come before this court,” McCarthy said, speaking about Davenport’s lengthy juvenile record. “Possession of a gun. Unlawful use of a weapon. Aggravated assault with a gun. Violation of order of protection. Vehicular hijacking. Unlawful use of a weapon again. Possession of a controlled substance. [Possessing a stolen motor vehicle] Class two. Six catalytic converters found in the car you’re seen running from when the police come up … I do find you’re a danger to the community, and your bond is going to reflect that.”

McCarthy then ordered Davenport to pay a $15,000 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring. He won’t be able to do that right away, though. Prosecutors said the Illinois Department of Corrections might revoke his parole, so he will be held without bail until their review is completed.

Davenport was released from prison on March 9 after serving half of a two-year sentence that he received for illegal firearm possession.

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