A catalytic converter was cut from the underside of a car in an apartment complex parking lot on Oct. 25, Indian Head Park police report.
The converter, which is part of the exhaust system, was sawed off a 1999 Pontiac, parked at the rear of an apartment building on the 6800 block of Joliet Road, Sgt. Curt Novak said. It will cost about $1,000 to replace the device.
Thieves are stealing catalytic converters because they contain precious metals, such as platinum, which have a high resale value when sold to scrap metal dealers.
Two Chicago men were arrested Oct. 22 and charged with stealing converters from vehicles parked at Skokie businesses. In the suspects’ mini-van, the police found five catalytic converters, covered by a tarp, and a power saw, presumably used to cut the devices from the cars’ undercarriage.
On Oct. 11, catalytic converters were stolen from three vehicles on the 4700 and 4800 blocks of North Harlem Avenue in Harwood Heights.
Novak said catalytic converters also were reported stolen from vehicles in Westchester recently.
Thieves seem to target Pontiacs, Chevy Cavaliers and some models of Toyota 4Runners, officials say.
Since 1975, vehicles have been equipped with converters to control emissions. If the converter is removed, the car will sound loud and gravelly when started.