Chicago police have arrested a man from the Northwest Side's Belmont Heights neighborhood in connection with a string of car thefts in the area.
Lazaro Montanez, 22, of the 3900 block of North Olcott Avenue, was charged with four counts of possession of a stolen vehicle and a count of possession of burglary tools, police said in a statement this morning.
In recent months, Jefferson Park District officers noticed that many Hondas were being stolen and then recovered with their catalytic converters missing. They concentrated their investigation on the area where those thefts happened.
While conducting surveillance in the area on Friday afternoon, officers identified a Honda that had been reported stolen and later saw Montanez arrive and use a "jiggler key" -- a modified key that can open and start many cars -- to get into the car, police said.
Officers trailed him to his home, where he was arrested as he tried to back the car into a rear garage, the statement said. Police found car parts and a stripped-down Honda in the garage, according to the statement.
As a result of the investigation, police recovered or accounted for eight stolen cars. Montanez is scheduled to appear in court today.