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POLICE: Catalytic Converter Thief Escapes On Way to Relieve Himself in White Castle

Man leaves cousin behind in van to get clipped, cops say.

A convicted burglar was charged with felony possession of burglary tools after police found saws, blades, battery chargers and several catalytic converters in a rented U-Haul van on Dec. 30, police said.

said they saw a van with no lights pull out of the U-Haul rental lot at 4650 W. 95th St. where it began heading westbound. Suddenly, the van pulled into the White Castle lot at 95th Street and Cicero Avenue.

A man got out of the van and began heading toward the restaurant when police asked him what he was doing driving without his headlights on. Police said the man told them he was meeting his cousin who had rented the van.

The man was unable to produce the renter’s agreement and did not have his ID with him. Police checked his name for past charges, which came up clean. When they went to talk the passenger inside the van, the man told them that he really needed to use the restroom.

As the man headed toward the White Castle to use the bathroom, he ran away. Multiple police officers searched the area but couldn’t find him.

As the search continued, police went to talk to the passenger, Keyshawn J. Jones, 24, of Round Lake, who was lying on the floor of the van, the report said.

When Jones opened the door to the van, police said they saw a cut catalytic converter on the floor. Officers became suspicious because of three catalytic converters being reported stolen from the U-Haul rental lot the night before.

Further inspection of the van revealed five cut catalytic converters, nine metal cutting saw blades, a rechargeable reciprocating saw, a backpack, batteries and a battery charger with a cord plugged into the cigarette lighter.

Jones, who was covered with dead leaves and other debris, told police he didn’t know anything about the contents inside the van because he was “passed out” in the back most of the night, the report said.

Police were able to locate the renter’s agreement in Jones’ name inside the van. After a cutting saw blade was found in Jones’ pants pocket, he was taken into  custody, police said.

At the station, Jones agreed to talk to detectives. According to the report, he said he had rented the van to move some of his girlfriends’ things. His cousin who disappeared on his way to the bathroom, wanted to use the van “to make some money” and paid Jones $100.

Jones and his cousin went to an unknown back lot where there were a lot of old trucks, police said. He said his cousin got out of the van with the backpack and returned with the three converters where he, Jones, was sitting alone.

Police said the same scenario was repeated at another lot where two converters had been taken that evening.

Jones told police he knew what his cousin was doing was wrong but thought it was okay because “the trucks looked broke down,” reports said.

The men then drove to the Oak Lawn U-Haul to steal more converters but got spooked by a security guard working next door at the car dealership, police said.

Police said Jones had a prior conviction for burglary in January 2008.

The report did indicate if the cousin had been taken into custody, except to say he was 30 years old and lived in Chicago.

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