Catalytic converter thief crashes after leading police on chase: authorities

Tyree D. Johnston booking photo
Tyree D. Johnston Photo credit Orland Park Police

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A 29-year-old Chicago man is accused of leading Orland Park police on a chase early Thursday after he was caught stealing a catalytic converter from an auto dealership.

Police in the southwest suburb say officers responded to Bettenhausen Dodge, 15941 94th Ave., around 2 a.m. after a vehicle was observed pulling into the parking lot with its lights off.

They saw a man walking through the lot, police said. When the suspect noticed them, he allegedly drove off at a high rate of speed and ran a red light at 167th Street and 94th Avenue, striking another vehicle. Police said no injuries were reported from the crash.

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The suspect fled on foot but was tracked down to a shed he was trying to climb, police said.

His vehicle contained five catalytic converters, a saw, about 78 grams of cannabis and more than $2,000 in cash, police said. A Dodge van at the car dealership was missing its catalytic converter, police said.

Tyree D. Johnston was charged with several offenses, including possession of stolen motor vehicle parts, unlawful possession of cannabis and reckless driving, police said.

Johnston appeared in court Thursday and was issued a $50,000 Deposit Bond, police said.

His next court appearance is Feb. 15.