crime tape and magnifying glass

Eureka Police have stepped up patrols on Fourth Street after a string of late-August thefts in the area, Lt. Michael Werges said.

“We have added overnight patrols and shifts,” he said. “We have put additional vehicles on the street, and we are utilizing unmarked vehicles as well.”

In the early morning hours of Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, more than $21,000 worth of catalytic converters were cut off vehicles at three businesses on Fourth Street, Eureka Police reported.

On Aug. 30, catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles parked outside the Wholesale Plumbing Supply Co., 720 W. Fourth St.; Future Aire Heating & Air Conditioning, 690 W. Fourth St.; and Selbert’s Auto Body, 410 W. Fourth St. On Aug. 31, a catalytic converter was stolen from a pickup at Selbert’s, police reported.

At Wholesale Plumbing, a converter was cut off the company’s 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and at Future Aire, converters were cut of a 2005 Chevrolet Express 3500 van and a 2012 Chevrolet Express 3500 van, according to the report.

At Selbert’s, converters were cut off a 2016 Honda Pilot, 2006 Jeep Liberty, 2018 Buick Enclave and 2007 Honda Accord at about 5:20 a.m. Aug. 30, and a converter was cut off a 2005 Toyota Tundra at about 1 a.m. Aug. 31, Eureka Police said.

The cost to replace all the stolen converters was estimated at $21,263.75, the report said.

On Aug. 30, surveillance video from Future Aire showed someone wearing jeans, a dark hooded sweatshirt, white shoes and a facemask near the vans at the time of thefts. The video also showed a long-bed pickup that did not have license plates drive away from the area, the report said.

Eureka Police said a similar pickup was seen that morning at Selbert’s, according to the report.

Surveillance video from Selbert’s on Aug. 31 showed a dark blue Ford Explorer drive across a grassy area near the business before entering its parking lot. It also showed someone near the Tundra, the report said.

The Explorer also was seen in surveillance video at about 1:20 a.m. Aug. 31 at Midwest Motors, 1400 S. Outer Road, where a radio worth about $1,500 was stolen from a 2005 Ford F-350. In that video, the Explorer was seen again driving over a grassy area to reach the company’s parking lot. A man and woman were in the SUV, and the woman allegedly was seen getting out and trying to get into a Jeep Wrangler, according to the report.

After she was unable to get into the Jeep, the man got out of the SUV and allegedly smashed a window on the Ford F-350 pickup and removed the radio head from its dashboard, according to the report.

Werges said Eureka Police believe the man and woman, and possibly another person, are responsible for the converter thefts and radio theft.

As of Sept. 10, police had identified the man or woman allegedly seen stealing the radio, and none of the converters or the radio had been recovered. Anyone with information about the incidents should call Eureka Police at 636-938-6600.