Cook County dropped charges after Chicago cops saw him stealing a catalytic converter. He wasn’t so lucky in DuPage County.

CHICAGO — Dexter Williams has been on a roll in Cook County. Since 2022, he’s been charged with misdemeanors six times, and prosecutors dropped all but one of those cases.

Among the charges they dropped was a 2022 theft case that police filed against him after on-duty Chicago police officers said they saw Williams trying to steal a catalytic converter in Roscoe Village. The cops asked prosecutors to approve felony charges, but the state’s attorney’s office rejected that idea and then dropped the entire matter a few months later.

Maybe Williams should have stayed in Cook County.

He’s now being detained in DuPage County after officials there accused him of having—this may sound familiar—four catalytic converters, a jack, a Sawzall, and Sawzall blades in his car after he slammed into a light pole while trying to get away from cops in Lombard.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin couldn’t be more pleased.

“Make no mistake, we will use every tool at our disposal, including helicopters, drones and the assistance of neighboring jurisdictions to arrest and charge anyone who attempts to flee from police,” Berlin said in a written statement. “Do not attempt to flee, you will be unsuccessful.”

Dexter Williams (DuPage County state’s attorney’s office)

According to Berlin, Williams, 37, reached speeds of about 100 mph while trying to get away from officers on Roosevelt Road in Lombard early Saturday morning. Williams crossed into Chicago and eventually slammed into a light pole at Ogden and Western avenues, Berlin said.

Williams and two other people tried to run away, but officers caught them, according to Berlin’s statement. A search of the wrecked car turned up the catalytic converters and the tools commonly used to steal them.

Unlike Cook County’s prosecutors, Berlin’s team slapped Williams with felony charges of possessing a stolen motor vehicle, possession of burglary tools, and aggravated fleeing and eluding. They tacked on a dozen misdemeanors and traffic offenses, too.

Berlin’s prosecutors asked a DuPage County judge to detain Williams as a public safety threat. The judge granted that request, Berlin said.

Williams looks perplexed in his DuPage County mugshot. Maybe he feels confused by how law enforcement outside Cook County handles criminal matters.

After all, Chicago cops said they literally saw Williams trying to steal a catalytic converter from a Prius in the 2100 block of West Roscoe around 2 o’clock one morning in January 2022. The officers seized a green power saw and a car jack that was hoisting the car into the air, according to CPD records.

Then, they asked a Cook County assistant state’s attorney to charge Williams with felony theft. She refused, according to notes on the officer’s report. Instead, Dexter was charged with misdemeanor theft, and he was released from the police station on his own recognizance that afternoon.

Six months later, prosecutors dropped the case entirely.

According to state records, Williams was on parole for being a felon in possession of a firearm with a prior gun conviction at the time of the Roscoe Village incident. He has nine other felony convictions on his Illinois record, including a gun case, resisting arrest causing injury, aggravated battery in a public place, narcotics, and aggravated battery of a government employee.

Original reporting you’ll see nowhere else, paid for by our readers. Click here to support our work.

About Tim Hecke 367 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is