CPD investigating Southwoods Center thefts

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Columbia police are working with Missouri law enforcement agencies to investigate a string of thefts involving vehicles and trailers over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Columbia Car Care Center, located at 287 Southwoods Drive, reported Monday the theft of a 2005 trailer hauling an asphalt sprayer from a car wash bay on its property. Surveillance footage shows the theft occurred shortly before 9:45 a.m. Thursday, police said.

The video shows two white men in a red 1990 Chevrolet Silverado stealing the trailer. Police located the unoccupied Silverado at the storage units in Southwoods Center on Monday and determined the truck was reported earlier last week in St. Ann, Mo.

At about 3 a.m. Friday, video surveillance shows a 1993 Ford E-250 panel van being stolen from the lot of Plastic Refinishing & More, 201 Southwoods Center. The owner of the van told police the vehicle was locked and no keys were inside at the time of the theft.

The stolen van was recovered Tuesday morning in St. Louis city, police said.

“We think all of this is connected,” Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul said.

Another incident that could be related to these crimes is the attempted theft of a 2017 Titan G4 Stealth enclosed trailer from the lot of The Falls in the 1100 block of Admiral Weinel Boulevard early Saturday morning. Police said that at about 2:15 a.m., a local resident interrupted two white men from stealing the trailer.

Paul said there have been a number of crimes in St. Louis County and elsewhere that involve suspects stealing vehicles, using them to commit burglaries and other thefts, and then ditching the stolen vehicles.

Anyone who may observed suspicious activity similar to these crimes in the area of Southwoods Center over the weekend is asked to call the Columbia Police Department at 618-281-5151.

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