Catalytic converter theft in Chicago business' parking lot caught on video

Eric Horng Image
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Woman watches crew steal her catalytic converter out office window
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A Chicago woman was stunned to look out her office window at the end ofher work day and see four thieves stealing her catalytic converter. The incident was caught on video.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A brazen catalytic converter theft in a Chicago business' parking lot just as the work day was ending was captured on surveillance video.

Laura Poskus was not expecting to end her work day by watching a team of four thieves steal from her. It took them less than three minutes and they arrived with a jack and Sawzall.

"As I look out the window, I see two people next to my car. I'm going, 'What are they doing next to my car?'" she said. "And I literally screamed and scared my coworker.

RELATED: Man killed while stealing catalytic converter after being run over by would-be victim, police say

Poskus works for candy maker Arway Confections in Avondale. It was in their parking lot last Wednesday that the thieves stole her Honda CRV's catalytic converter.

"They're so lackadaisical about it. They don't even seem to be in that big a rush. You know what I mean, just like meh," Poskus said.

In the video, two thieves worked to remove the sought-after part, two other stand watch at a Black Audi sedan with another catalytic converter in the trunk.

RELATED: Nearly 130 catalytic converters seized in auto chop shop bust in Chicago suburb, police say

Police say the crew is armed, and in the video you can see the person on the right reaching into his jacket while looking around.

Police say the offenders are responsible for at least half a dozen catalytic converter thefts on the Northwest Side in just the past week. In some of the crimes, vehicle owners have been threatened with guns, but in this instance the crew stole Poskus' catalytic converter without a fight.

In the video, you can see them toss it into the trunk of the Audi along with the jack and make their getaway.

READ MORE: Chicago police hope to prevent catalytic converter thefts with spray paint

"People who need to get to and from work and use that vehicle to get to and from their jobs, middle class people, they cannot afford that," Poskus said.

Poskus even followed law enforcement recommendations to prevent this type of crime and had police spray paint her VIN number on the part with a stencil to make it identifiable, but the thieves took it anyway.

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