Tire Thieves Were Hoping to Sell Booty for Drugs, Cops Say
Chicago men charged with felony theft and other Oak Lawn crime headlines.
Oak Lawn police caught two men in the act of stealing auto parts in the parking lot at L.A. Fitness, reports said.
Leslie L. Nathan, 48, and Linza F. Davis, 57, both of Chicago, were charged with felony theft after reportedly stealing car parts in the L.A. Fitness parking lot at 8812 S. Cicero Ave.
A caller was walking into the fitness center around 10:32 a.m. Jan. 9, when he saw a white box-type truck with Arizona plates, park next to a Lexus.
Two men, identified as Nathan and Davis, got out of the van and walked over to the Lexus. One of them went underneath the Lexus with some type of tool and removed the spare tire, police said.
The caller said the other man acted as a lookout and helped his accomplice put the tire into the van, according to the report.
The van then took off southbound on Cicero Avenue as the caller called police.
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Police saw the van and stopped it at 85th Place and Cicero Avenue because Nathan, the driver, was not wearing a seatbelt, reports said.
According to police, two spare tires were in plain view in the rear of the van, and a pair of cutters lay near Davis’s feet. The caller was brought to the scene where he identified both men, reports said.
Officers observed that the spare tire had been cut from underneath the Lexus. Police found the owner and advised him of the alleged theft. In addition to the Lexus tire, police also found the steel rim from a Jeep Wrangler.
While they were being detained, a leads check revealed that Nathan had a revoked driver’s license, police said.
The caller came to the scene and positively identified both men. They were taken into custody and brought to the Oak Lawn police station.
Davis allegedly told police that he has a drug problem and was looking for some quick cash, so he and Nathan went driving around looking to steal tires, police said.
Police said that Nathan allegedly drove into the L.A. Fitness parking lot and Davis went under the Lexus to get the spare tire.
According to the report, Davis told police he usually gets $40 to $50 per tire and that he had been arrested for stealing tires before.
Nathan told police he thought he was being arrested for driving on a revoked license, police said. He denied any knowledge of stealing tires or what he was doing with Davis, reports said.
Police said Nathan refused to say anything else or what he was doing with Davis, saying: “You all just do what ya’ll are going to do.”
The Lexus tire was valued at $854.59.
In addition to felony theft charges, Nathan was also issued citations for failure to wear a seatbelt, no insurance, and driving on a revoked license. Both were being held pending a bond hearing on Jan. 11.
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