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updated: 4/9/2014 5:23 PM

Catalytic converter thieves targeting Chevy Cavaliers

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By Freida Gad

Thieves skilled in cutting off catalytic converters have stolen several recently in the Northwest suburbs, and they seem to especially like the ones on Chevy Cavaliers.

Police in Mount Prospect report six catalytic converters stolen between April 2 and 4 in apartment parking lots. And others have been stolen in recent days in Arlington Heights and Hanover Park.

Authorities say the thefts are often the work of organized groups that move from state to state. Officers in Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect noted that the Chevrolet Cavalier is a frequent target.

Mount Prospect Crime Prevention Officer Greg Sill said he contacted a GM official, who said the Cavalier's converter contains more platinum than some others, possibly making it more attractive to thieves who profit from selling them for scrap. Police also suggested that thieves target vehicle models where the converter is easier to reach.

Unlike the theft victim who has left a car or home unlocked, "this is a crime where the victim has done nothing wrong," Sill said.

In Mount Prospect, converters were stolen from a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire and 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier on the 1700 block of Dennis; a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier on the 1400 block of Canford Cliffs Road; two 2002 Chevrolet Cavaliers on the 500 block of Huntington Commons Road; and a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier on the 1400 block of Busse Road.

Thieves also stole a catalytic converter from a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier overnight April 3-4 in an apartment lot on the 2300 block of South Goebbert Road in Arlington Heights.

Other recent converter thefts include one taken from a 2000 Toyota 4Runner between 10:30 a.m. and 8:15 p.m. March 17 in a restaurant lot at 912 S. Busse Road in Mount Prospect and one taken around 7 p.m. March 25 out of a Metra lot in Hanover Park.

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