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Cicero charges two suspects in Catalytic Converter thefts

Cicero charges two suspects in Catalytic Converter thefts 4.25/5 (85.00%) 8 votes

Cicero charges two suspects in Catalytic Converter thefts

RickyFosterCatalyticConTheftThe Cicero Police Department has charged two individuals with felony charges regarding a catalytic converter theft investigation.

Ricky Foster (04-02-1994) of 10816 S. Eberhart, Chicago IL was charged with felony theft and possession of burglary tools after he was stopped with 13 catalytic converters in his possession.  A juvenile offender who was in the company of Foster was also charged.

The arrest of Foster was the result of a long term surveillance and bait car operation conducted by the Patrol, Tactical, and Detective Divisions of the Cicero Police Department.  The surveillance operation was started in response to the high number of catalytic converter thefts occurring in Cicero and surrounding cities. Surveillance continues at multiple locations within the Town and at multiple scrap recycling centers in surrounding municipalities.

Cicero officials said that thieves are targeting the catalytic converters in vehicles and there is an upswing in many Suburban communities.

Police officials in the Town of Cicero issued an alert warning their residents that the thefts were taking place in 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,” police officials said. “Thefts usually occur at night, early morning, or when vehicles are parked for long periods in places thieves can easily access.”

Police 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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