Pennsylvania Throws Book at Chicago Crooks, Holds Them Without Bail

Pennsylvania has shown authorities in the Windy City how it’s done by throwing the book at a criminal gang of three Chicago men.

The crooks had traveled from Chicago to Pittsburgh, PA, and stole $200,000 worth of catalytic converters.

Unlike in Chicago, the suspects have been thrown in jail and are being held without bond, putting an end to their crime spree.

The three suspects, Christian Buie, 31; Antonio D. Johnson, 42; and Harold T. Wade, 29, are being held without bail on charges of corrupt organizations, conspiracy, theft, and related offenses.

The men, who Chicago police said are members of the Traveling Vice Lords street gang, targeted car dealerships rather than hit cars parked on the streets as is their usual MO.

According to Yahoo:

“The catalytic converter thieves hit in early December at Jim Shorkey auto dealerships in North Huntingdon and North Union, Fayette County, police said.

“There were a total of 35 catalytic converters taken from Mitsubishi Outlanders at both locations — two were left behind on the ground — causing $124,000 in damage.

“Around the same time, Moon police were investigating the thefts of $20,000 worth of catalytic converters from tow trucks. They identified a suspect vehicle as a Porsche Panamera, according to court papers.”

Here is where the story takes a tragic turn. In 2015 they were busted stealing 24 catalytic converters in Chicago.

But “unlike their Pennsylvania counterparts, Chicago prosecutors only charged the men with misdemeanors. They all received probation.”

According to CWB Chicago:

“Two of the five men who were charged in connection with the theft of 24 catalytic converters last month have reached plea deals.

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“Mychael Williamson, 18, and Angelo Perry, 22, each pleaded guilty to one count of theft of lost or mislaid property on Monday.

“Both were sentenced to one year of conditional discharge, which is essentially unsupervised probation.”

“Angelo Perry, 22, of Roseland; Harold Wade, 21, of West Garfield Park;  and Christian Buie, 23, Jeramie Murry, 25, and Mychael Williamson, 18, all of Humboldt Park, are each charged with one count of trespassing and one count of theft of lost or mislaid property,” according to CWB.

According to Triblive:

Authorities said they learned that the SUV and Porsche were rented by a Chicago woman. Search warrants for cellphone activity in the area of all three thefts led them to numerous Chicago-based phone numbers, including those belonging to Buie, Johnson and Wade, according to court papers. Police said Buie and Wade previously were arrested for catalytic converter thefts in Chicago in 2015.

On Friday, authorities got a warrant to place a mobile tracking device on a Nissan Rogue they believed the trio was using while they stayed at an Airbnb rental in Pittsburgh’s North Side, according to court papers.

Investigators tracked the SUV’s movements during the weekend and said they found many of the spots the trio hit were the site of catalytic converter thefts, including in the area of their rental unit.

A search of the rental turned up reciprocating saws. During a traffic stop Saturday, police said the three men were arrested and 17 catalytic converters were found in the SUV they were driving, according to court papers.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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