A West Lawn resident is lucky to be alive after catalytic converter thieves shot up his home when he caught them in the act.
Around 3:30 a.m. Thursday, the homeowner said he heard something outside his window. The homeowner declined to be identified. He said he awoke to the sounds of thieves attempting to steal catalytic converters from cars parked near 69th Place and South Lawndale outside his home.
“And then I opened the window, and I asked him ‘What are you doing?'” explained the homeowner.
In an interview with Univision, he stated that he opened his bedroom window and yelled at the thieves, which was captured on a neighbor’s security video and shared with ABC7.
On the video, you can hear him yell, “Hey!” “What are you doing!”
A barrage of gunfire follows seconds later. 17 gunshots were fired into the man’s home, with bullets flying into his bedroom and living room.
“I hurried over to the side of bed to protect myself, and thank god I wasn’t hit,” the homeowner explained.
It was like a scene from a movie, the victim said, as he jumped to the side of his bed, out of the line of fire.
“It’s better to take the things than to risk your life,” he explained.
His sister, brother, and two nephews, who live with him, were unharmed as well.
The incident, according to Ald. Silvana Tabares, who represents the West Lawn neighborhood, demonstrates how desperately more police officers are needed in Chicago neighborhoods.
“What we find is that these thieves are armed and dangerous and they are not hesitating to shoot,” she explained. “They are more emboldened than ever before and what we find is that they often manipulate their guns to fire, to fire around more quickly, which is making a very dangerous situation even more deadly.”
According to residents, this is not the first time someone has stolen the catalytic converters from their vehicles.
The thefts and shooting are being investigated by Chicago police. There is currently no one in custody.