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Chicago Men Charged In Skokie Catalytic Converter Thefts

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SKOKIE, Ill. (CBS) – Two Chicago men have been charged with stealing catalytic converters off vehicles in north suburban Skokie.

Skokie officers pulled them over about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 7300 block of Lawndale Avenue after realizing the white minivan they were in matched the description of a vehicle connected to recent thefts, police said in a release.

Officers arrested three men in the vehicle after allegedly finding five catalytic converters inside the van under a tarp, the release said. The vehicle also contained a small power saw used to cut the devices off vehicles, police claim.

Police linked two of the men to prior catalytic converter thefts in Skokie from Park’s Plumbing, at 8121 Lawndale Ave.; Seven Star Trading, at 8112 Monticello Ave; and Imperial Auto, at 8030 Central Park Ave., the release said.

Neal Benjamin, 25, of the 7500 block of North Winchester Avenue, and Norris Clark, 38, of the 7300 block of North Winchester Avenue, were each charged with two counts of felony theft and a count of misdemeanor theft, the alert said.

The third person arrested was released without being charged.

Benjamin and Clark will appear for a bond hearing Thursday at the Skokie Courthouse.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)