Area law enforcement officers have cracked a ring of suspects accused of stealing items from vehicles and outbuildings in east Franklin County and the city of Eureka.
The thefts have been occurring over the past few months in the Pacific and Gray Summit areas as well as Eureka. Weapons, money and various other items were reported stolen.
Within the last few days, a Franklin County deputy and a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper received information from independent sources about possible suspects. They shared that information with the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit which was called in to assist.
Tuesday night, officers began rounding up some of the suspects, according to the sheriff’s office, and were continuing their search for others involved Wednesday morning.
Eight people have been arrested so far, including some on outstanding warrants unrelated to this investigation, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities are seeking charges against those eight who are in custody for various charges ranging from active warrants to investigative arrests for stealing, unlawful possession of firearms, and possession of stolen property. Some of the subjects were on probation.
So far, five weapons have been recovered that had been stolen.
Arrested on outstanding warrants were Thomas Kerr, 50, Pacific; Dominick Krumley, 20, Robertsville; Chris Thebeau, 18, Pacific; and Allen Peters, 20, Pacific on warrants out of Jefferson County.
Arrested for investigation were three Pacific men, ages 21, 27 and 48. Their names have been withheld pending charges.
Authorities are applying for charges on all the suspects, who reported being dropped off on foot in various locations with backpacks. The suspects would then steal items from unlocked vehicles, then be picked up later.
Sheriff Gary Toelke said the success of this operation was due to a good cooperative effort among deputies, the Franklin County Narcotics Unit, Missouri Highway Patrol troopers, and Pacific and Eureka police.