Thieves target automobile catalytic converters

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Thieves target automobile catalytic converters

By Ray Hanania

catalyticconverter2Thieves are targeting the catalytic converters in vehicles and there is an upswing in many Suburban communities, officials said Monday.

Police officials int he Town of Cicero issued an alert warning their residents that the thefts were taking plac ein Cicero and in surrounding communities in Berwyn, Stickney and in Chicago.

“This community alert warns Cicero residents of numerous catalytic converter thefts occurring in Cicero and surrounding municipalities,” a police official said.

“Thefts usually occur at night, early morning, or when vehicles are parked for long periods in places thieves can easily access.”

catalyticconverterPolice said motorists and vehicle owners do not realize the converters have been taken until they start their cars in the morning, or after the theft has occurred, and are tipped off by a distinct change in the sound of their vehicle motor.

“After a catalytic converter has been removed, a car will sound loud and gravelly when started,” the official said.

Thieves target converters because they contain metals that can easily be sold as scrap. During the past year, police in many suburbs have reported that homeowners were discovering that their outdoor placed central air conditioning units were being stolen, too.

“Typically, one person is a lookout, while it takes the other person or person less than 2 minutes to remove the catalytic converter part,” the officials said.

Anti-theft devices can be purchased to prevent catalytic converter thefts. The cost of anti-theft devices is less than the cost to repair a stolen catalytic converter.

Cicero Police urges residents to report any suspicious people/activity and call 911. Residents are also encouraged to pay attention to people loitering nearby, and to tell neighbors about the rash of thefts. Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to call The Cicero Police Department Detective Bureau at (708) 652-2130 Ext. #337 or 339.

Residents in other communities should also contact their local police if they suspect the theft of the units from their vehicles.

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Ray Hanania

Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network online news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley).

In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. He hosted a live weekend Radio Show on WLS AM radio from 1980 through 1991, and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM and shows on WSBC AM in Chicago and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate and his column is feature every Sunday in the Saudi Gazette in Saudi Arabia. He has written for the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His Chicagoland political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News on several Chicagoland blogs including the OrlandParker.com and SuburbanChicagoland.com.

Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is www.TheMediaOasis.com. Email him at: [email protected]