Police Blotter: Police investigate string of car part robberies

David Fishman, Assistant City Editor

Police are investigating a string of car part robberies that occurred in Evanston over the past week.

In three separate incidents, the catalytic converter — a part of the exhaust pipe that is responsible for filtering out harmful pollutants — was stolen from vehicles in various locations throughout the city, Evanston Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan said.

Dugan said the converters are relatively easy to remove, making them attractive targets for thieves. He added that the parts can cost between $500 and $1,000 to replace.

In the latest theft — which occurred sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday — a 61-year-old male parked his car outside an apartment building in the 1700 block of Dempster Street. When he came back and started the vehicle, it emitted a strange sound. Upon inspection, the male discovered that his catalytic converter had been cut out.

Dugan said he suspected a connection between the incidents because of the similarity and short time span in which they occurred.

Visa gift card gone missing

Police are also investigating an alleged robbery that occurred Sunday night in south Evanston.

A 59-year-old female said she left her purse on the couch inside her home in the 1300 block of Brummel Street. In the purse, she said, was an envelope containing a $50 Visa gift card.

When she returned from running errands, she told police, the envelope was sitting on a desk next to the couch — empty. The female, who lives with her son and husband, said she had no idea who took the gift card.

Dugan said police found no signs of forced entry.

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