Those who drive Toyota Priuses should be careful to check that their vehicle’s catalytic converters are still attached. Oak Park has had a string of catalytic converter thefts from the hybrid vehicles this past week.

A 2007 Toyota Prius had its catalytic converter cut between 7:50 a.m. and 6 p.m., June 4 in the 700 block of North Harvey Avenue. That same day, the catalytic converter was cut from a 2005 Toyota Prius between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the 1100 block of North Grove Avenue.

A video surveillance camera captured someone cutting the catalytic converter from a 2005 Toyota Prius in the 400 block of North Elmwood Avenue between 1:32 p.m., June 6 and 6:13 p.m., June 8.

An Oak Park resident saw two individuals near the resident’s 2006 Toyota Prius, parked in the resident’s driveway at 2:47 a.m., June 10 in the 500 block of North Marion Street. After the two individuals left in a red Nissan Sentra, the resident inspected the Prius and found its catalytic converter had been cut.

Catalytic converters contain precious metals platinum, palladium and rhodium. Toyota Priuses contain more of the metals than other vehicles. The price of such metals per ounce run for thousands of dollars, with Rhodium commanding the highest price at $14,500 per ounce as of December of last year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

News organizations across the United States and the United Kingdom have reported on the increasing number of catalytic converter thefts from Priuses. KUOW reported in May that Prius catalytic converter thefts were up 3,800 percent in Seattle and King County this year. In March, a suspected thief was crushed to death by a Prius while trying to remove its converter in California, according to a news report from ABC 7.

Burglary  

  • Someone entered an unlocked 2016 Honda CRV and took a MacBook Pro laptop computer and a wallet between 9:25 a.m. and 3:45 p.m., June 6 in the 1100 block of South Boulevard. The estimated loss is $820.
  • Someone took money from the glovebox and a pair of gloves from a 2008 Hyundai Sonata with an unlocked passenger door between 10 a.m., June 6 and 7:30 p.m., June 8 in the 900 block of West Lake Street. An estimated loss of $70.
  • Someone broke into a 2005 Toyota and removed an Amazon Echo device and a remote starter between 5:30 p.m., June 12 and 1:48 p.m., June 13 in the 1100 block of Westgate Street. An estimated loss of $400.

Attempted burglary  

  • Someone removed the screen to an unlocked bathroom window of a residence but was unable to get inside at 2:14 a.m., June 7 in the 100 block of South Oak Park Avenue.

Motor vehicle theft

  • Someone removed a 2003 Subaru Legacy from the fourth floor of a parking garage in the 1100 block of South Boulevard between 5 p.m., June 9 and 6 a.m., June 11. The estimated loss is $4,500.

Theft

  • Someone took a package containing a window air conditioning unit from the lobby of a residential building in the first block of Division Street between 4:23 p.m. and 5 p.m., May 30. The estimated loss is $396.
  • A man was observed taking an unsecured and unattended BMX-style bicycle from outside a residence in the 700 block of Wesley Avenue at 6:44 a.m., June 11. He was last seen traveling northbound on Wesley Avenue with the bicycle. The estimated loss is $100.
  • Someone cut the catalytic converter from a 2015 Chevrolet Equinox between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., June 7 in the 200 block of South Boulevard.

Criminal property damage

  • Someone shattered the front passenger’s side window of a 2021 Ford Ranger at 1:30 a.m., June 7 in the 400 block of Austin Boulevard. The estimated damage is $150.
  • A Toyota Camry’s rear driver’s side tire was slashed between 5 p.m., June 6 and 6:45 a.m., June 7 in the 1000 block of North Avenue. The estimated damage is $200.
  • The rear driver’s side tire of an Acura 3.0 CL was slashed between midnight and 6:45 a.m., June 7 in the 1000 block of North Avenue. The estimated damage is $200.
  • Someone slashed the rear driver’s side tire of a Mitsubishi Mirage in the 1000 block of North Avenue between 5 p.m., June 6 and 6:45 a.m., June 7. The estimated damage is $100.

These items, obtained from the Oak Park Police Department, came from reports June 8 through June 13 and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Anyone named in these reports has only been charged with a crime and cases have not yet been adjudicated. We report the race of a suspect only when a serious crime has been committed, the suspect is still at large, and police have provided us with a detailed physical description of the suspect as they seek the public’s help in making an arrest.

Compiled by Stacey Sheridan

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