Eureka Police are trying to identify a man who allegedly stole a 63-year-old woman’s SUV from outside a gas station when she left the driver-side door open while she went inside the convenience store to prepay for gas. The Eureka woman already had placed a gas nozzle in the fuel inlet, so when the suspect allegedly drove away with the 2015 Toyota RAV4, he ripped the hose and nozzle off the gas pump, Eureka Police reported.
The incident occurred at about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Circle K gas station, 100 Old Towne Drive, in Eureka, the report said.
Surveillance footage showed a man, who was wearing a dark hat and a bright blue gator-style facemask, talking on a cell phone near the store’s entrance when the victim went inside. A witness told police the man got into the SUV and drove away without removing the gas nozzle and was last seen traveling north on Hwy. 109, according to the report.
The nozzle and hose later were located on Fourth Street, about a half mile from the gas station. The cost to repair the damage to the pump was estimated at $201, the report said.
The SUV was valued at about $13,000. The woman said her purse and Samsung Galaxy 8-plus cell phone were in the SUV. The phone was valued at about $200, and a value for the purse was not provided, police reported.
As of Nov. 20, the SUV and stolen items had not been recovered, and the suspect had not been identified, Lt. Michael Werges said. Anyone with information about the incident should call Eureka Police at 636-938-6600.