CHICAGO An off-duty Chicago police officer and a suspect exchanged fire early Thursday morning during a possible catalytic converter theft on the Northwest Side, according to police.

Officials said an off-duty officer observed unknown men attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a vehicle in the 6500 block of West Imlay Avenue shortly before 5:50 a.m. Thursday morning.

The off-duty officer identified himself as a police officer to the men, leading to an exchange of gunfire between the suspects and the off-duty officer before the suspects fled the scene in an unknown direction.

No injuries were reported during the shooting and no one is in custody.

“Even out here in the outskirts it’s getting kind of crazy,” one person told WGN News.

“They were bold enough to do it while we were in and out of the shop,” said one auto mechanic who did not wish to be identified by WGN News.

With a surge in catalytic converter thefts, Thursday morning’s incident rattled residents. some say the frequency of catalytic converter thefts is off the charts.

“It’s really bad,” the auto mechanic said. “It’s at night, during the day. They do it whenever.”

One woman who spoke with WGN News hopes that police can find a way to monitor both the streets and local’s vehicles.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the involved officer will be placed on routine administrative duties for a period of 30 days.