Dupo vehicle theft suspects captured

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Two suspects wanted in the Sept. 3 thefts of four vehicles in Dupo as well as a repair shop burglary were taken into custody this week and charged.

St. Louis police attempted to arrest the suspects, both homeless from St. Louis, on Wednesday, which led to a pursuit that continued across the J.B. Bridge into Illinois and ended in Alorton. 

Early the morning of Sept. 3, the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force assisted Dupo police with a burglary to a vehicle repair shop located in the 1000 block of Imbs Station Road. A stolen Jeep from Missouri was left at the scene, and two vehicles along with guns and other items were taken from the repair shop. Two more vehicles were stolen in Dupo that morning.

“With the assistance of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, suspects in the burglary were identified,” Capt. Matt Jany of the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force said. “One of the stolen vehicles was recovered in north St. Louis County.”  

At about noon on Wednesday, a St. Louis police officer attempted to take the suspects into custody in St. Louis. The suspects fled in a F-150 and attempted to strike a police detective with the vehicle, Jany said.

St. Louis pursued the suspects as they drove west on I-255 across the J.B. Bridge into Monroe County before terminating after losing sight of the truck.

“Within a few minutes, an Alorton officer spotted the vehicle and attempted to stop the vehicle,” Jany said.

The truck fled from the Alorton officer and went west on Route 15 off I-255. Once on Route 15, the driver lost control of the truck and went into the ditch. Both occupants of the truck fled on foot into a swampy area north of Route 15 near Alorton.

Officers from Alorton, St. Louis and the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force set up a perimeter and searched the area.

“Both suspects were taken into custody as they were pushed toward waiting officers on the perimeter,” Jany said. 

The two suspects, identified as Eric J. Atherton, 34, and Carol A. Volkert, 28, were each charged with burglary, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and obstructing a peace officer. Atherton was also charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding. His bond was set at $100,000. Volkert’s bond was set at $75,000.

In the Sept. 3 burglary at John’s Auto Body, Dupo police said $10,000 worth of tools and two firearms were stolen in addition to the vehicles.

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