Evanston police reported 12 more thefts of catalytic converters this week, most of them on Toyotas, and would welcome a call if you think you see such a theft in progress.

The converter is an emission control device, installed on the underside of a vehicle, that is easy to retrieve with the help of a battery-operated power saw and can be easily converted into cash from scrap dealers in the Chicago area for as much as $1,000 each, according to EPD Cmdr. Brian Henry.

Thefts generally occur overnight, he says, and usually involve two or three individuals standing beside a car parked on the street, with their own vehicle idling nearby.

If you’re awakened in the middle of the night, and you witness such a scene outside your window, Henry says, the police would welcome an immediate call to 911 to report it.  Otherwise, the entire episode is over in a couple of minutes, and the victimized car owner is hit with a repair bill in the neighborhood of $2,000.

Other North Shore communities are experiencing similar thefts, Henry adds, as  well as a recent uptick in volume.

In today’s crime bulletin, catalytic converter thefts are reported from the 300 blocks of Darrow Avenue and Kedzie Street, the 700 block of Madison Street, the 800 blocks of Lee and Monroe streets, the 900 blocks of Washington Street and Asbury Avenue, the 1000 block of Dodge Avenue, the 1100 block of Wesley Avenue, the 1400 block of Greenleaf Street, the 1900 block of Seward Street, and the intersection of Clyde Avenue and Brummel Street.

The vehicles involved included nine Toyotas, two Acuras, and a Honda. The vehicles ranged in age from 2002 models to 2019.

Cmdr. Henry said he was told by the owner of an auto repair shop in Evanston that there is a plate that can be added to a vehicle that will cover the converter and protect the part from being stolen.

In addition to catalytic converter thefts, these other incidents and arrests were included in today’s crime bulletin:


600 Chicago

Chemicals were stolen by a shoplifter at the Walgreens Pharmacy in the 600 block of Chicago Avenue around 1 p.m. Monday.

500 Chicago

A delivered package was stolen from an apartment building in the 500 block of Chicago Avenue around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

1500 Sherman

An unattended backpack containing a computer was stolen from a vehicle in the 1500 block of Sherman Avenue between 7 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. Tuesday.

1200 Chicago

An unsecured bicycle was taken from the sidewalk in the 1200 block of Chicago Avenue between 1 p.m. and 1:35 p.m. Wednesday.

1600 Orrington

A package delivered to an apartment building in the 1600 block of Orrington Avenue was stolen between 8 a.m. on Dec. 27 and noon on Dec. 31.

2400 Dempster

A 2020 Volvo was taken from a lot in the 2400 block of Dempster Street around 1:45 p.m. yesterday.

900 Gaffield

A 2020 moped was taken from the porch of a home in the 900 block of Gaffield Place between 7 p.m. Monday and 1 p.m. Tuesday.

1100 Church

A delivered package was stolen from an apartment building in the 1100 block of Church Street around noon on Dec. 23.

300 Ridge

A computer was taken from a medical office in the 300 block of Ridge Avenue around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.


817 Davis

Adam C. Hernandez, 46, of 1000 Grove St., was arrested at 817 Davis St. at 10:32 p.m. Wednesday and charged with assault. He is due in court on Feb. 17 at 9 a.m.


2605 Prairie

Blair M. Devine, 35, of 1400 W. Greenleaf Ave., Chicago, was arrested at 2605 Prairie Ave. at 9:37 p.m. Tuesday and charged with battery. She is due in court on Feb. 22 at 9 a.m.


900 Elmwood

Photo equipment was taken from an unlocked 2020 Honda in the 900 block of Elmwood Avenue between 10 p.m. Sunday and 4:19 p.m. Monday.

1200 Elmwood

A burglar gained entry to an unlocked 2014 Nissan in the 1200 block of Elmwood Avenue between 11:31 a.m. Sunday and 11:31 a.m. yesterday.

1700 Orrington

A tire pressure gauge was taken from a 2016 Volkswagen in the 1700 block of Orrington Avenue between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 4 p.m. Wednesday.

1200 Mulford

Documents were taken from an unlocked 2004 Toyota in the 1200 block of Mulford Street between 5 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. yesterday.

Michigan at Keeney

Electronic items were taken from an unlocked 2016 Volkswagen near Michigan Avenue and Keeney Street between 11 p.m. Sunday and 9:13 a.m. Monday.


1000 Central

A window was broken at a community center in the 1000 block of Central Street between 5 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 1.

2000 Ashland

Someone threw a brick through the window of a home in the 2000 block of Ashland Avenue shortly after 11 p.m. Monday.

Incidents listed appear among the official reports of the Evanston Police Department. An arrest does not constitute an assumption of guilt, which can only be determined by a court of law. Court appearances take place in Cook County 2nd District Court in Skokie.

Related Document:

Crime Bulletin (January_08-21DR)

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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