CHICAGO — In years of reporting, the CWB Chicago team told us about the many people accused of stealing a car’s catalytic converter. Chicago police are said to have found people carrying stolen catalytic converters around the city, he said, 12, 24 and even 26.
But this may be a new record. Izarias Cannon, 22, was accused of stealing 38 of her catalytic converters inside her car at a Westside gas station Thursday afternoon.
“38 catalytic converters in the car?” Judge Mariam Ahmad asked prosecutors to confirm at Canon’s bail hearing Friday afternoon.
“Yes,” said Assistant State Attorney Alexander Konetski.
He told the judge that police received a 911 call around 1:00 p.m. about a suspicious vehicle filled with catalytic converters at a BP station at 1754 North Central in Austin.
Surveillance video allegedly showed Cannon and an accomplice opening the trunk of a car to show others the catalytic converter. Ahmad said he had information that Canon was looking to sell parts from the mutilated car.
As soon as police entered the parking lot, the car sped off but collided nearby and the driver, identified as Cannon, sprinted home, Konetski said.
Officers arrested Cannon after the homeowner agreed to come get him. Konetsky said the car in which Cannon crashed was registered with Cannon’s accomplices who live in the house.
Prosecutors charged Cannon with illegal possession of a stolen vehicle, leaving the scene of the accident, and driving without a license. Stolen car charges are based on a section of Illinois law that makes stealing an “essential part” of a car equivalent to stealing the entire vehicle.
Konetski said Canon has two felony drug cases pending, one in October 2019 and one in April 2020.
In these cases, Ahmad held Cannon without bail. As for the new allegations, he will have to post $9,000 bail to go home on electronic surveillance.
A team of thieves sell stolen catalytic converters on the black market that contain small amounts of very expensive precious metals.
According to StatefarmIn 2019, the company paid just $651,000 for about 480 catalytic converter thefts in Illinois. Ranked 3rd. the company said.