Yep. Five members of the Traveling Vice Lords street gang were found hiding on a Lakeview rooftop after allegedly crashing their van Tuesday—a van containing 24 catalytic converters that had been sawed off of vehicles in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods.
Each of the men is charged with one count of trespassing (being on the rooftop) and one count of theft of lost/mislaid property (the pile of catalytic converters.)
How does one come into possession of 24 "lost" catalytic converters? Only a Cook County prosecutor knows.
CWB readers heard the story and they are pissed-the-F-off. They've called and emailed aldermen, police stations, and us.
I was one of the victims of these thugs…Clearly there should be 24 counts as they stole 24 catalytic converters. I know this will cost me at least $1000 to have repaired and my car cannot be driven because the exhaust system or what remains of it is hanging on the ground.
Many, many neighbors have been in touch over the past couple of days, all victims of "cat thieves."
One ex-copper has an insider's view:
The on-duty watch commander dropped the ball on this because, frankly, he or she didn't give a shit. They need to come to a CAPS meeting and explain why they didn't fight to the death to get felony charges approved…Fucking lazy and useless.
Yeah. That's history now. And once the prosecution case is laid out, it's not easy to upgrade:
Sounds like the challenge is identifying victims and the damage to each person which in my understanding would help the prosecutor. I will go to court and do whatever I need to do to help escalate the charges. Since the police cannot identify all the victims they will need people to come forward. Other than me, I am not sure how many others were identified of the total of 24 victims.. perhaps other victims will be able to help in this matter as well.If you or someone you know had their catalytic converter stolen in Lake View, Lincoln Park, or North Center early this week, report it to 311 and insist—insist—that the case be cross-referenced with HY105569. And let us know if we can help.