With catalytic converters thefts on the rise, replacement parts low in supply

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO  — Drivers in Chicago have reported several catalytic converter thefts over the holidays. While Chicago police are alerting residents to remain vigilant, a shortage of replacement parts is a growing concern.

WGN spoke with Nancy Rodriguez, who revealed that she would be without a car for months, in addition to forking over thousands of dollars to replace her catalytic converter.

Rodriquez says that the cost to replace the catalytic converter stolen from her Toyota Prius was “$2,552 and that’s not including the car rental.”

Chicago police said Wednesday, Nov. 10, around 4 a.m. Rodriquez says she became a victim of catalytic converter thieves in her Humboldt Park neighborhood. 

Ludin Castillo, owner of Castillo’s Auto Repair on W. Grand Avenue, says he has seen time and time again folks seeking to get their stolen catalytic converters replaced. But Castillo says the part is on backorder. 

“I called the local Toyota, and they say they got a month-and-a-half waiting for another catalytic converter for another customer,” Castillo said.  

Rodriquez adds she will be without a car through at least January.  

“It’s horrible when you live in this kind of neighborhood,” Rodriquez said. “I’ve regretted buying in this neighborhood for 31 years, but living in a poverty neighborhood is the worst thing you can do.” 

Catalytic converters thefts have gotten particularly worse in parts of the city like Jefferson Park and Mount Greenwood – which caused police to warn residents back in October and November.  

“Even though you inform the police department like they say they want the community to inform and call 911. It doesn’t do nothing,” Rodriquez said. “When I reported to police, no one came out to look at the two cameras on the left side of me or right side of me. They didn’t email me. They didn’t call me.” 

WGN News reached out to Chicago Police Department for comment. However, police did not immediately return our requests.

Castillo offered a solution to prevent future Catalytic converters thefts.

“The only way, I would say, is maybe put an alarm system and be aware when your alarm system goes off, you know something is not right.” 

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