Suspects tear up business then slip through cracks

Suspects tear up business then slip through cracks

EUGENE, Ore. -- The business owner who tracked down wire thieves who tore his business apart may have been right:

He found the guys who did it.

It didn't make a difference.

"These guys will be out today if they even go to jail," Blomber said Monday morning, "and it don't mean nothing to them because they'll go out and start doing it again."

On Monday, police caught Traver Jason Harty, a man with no fixed address, in a field behind a west Eugene store with wire and metal from machines and electrical services from Blomberg's machine shop.

By Tuesday, Harty was out of police custody without having to post bail. It will be up to Harty to show up to any future court dates.

Metal theft is on the rise and victimizes almost anyone: motorists who find the catalytic converters removed from their parked cars; electric utilities targeted for spools of wire; and businesses like Blomberg's, which has been hit three times in the last four months.

Thieves steal metal to sell to scrap recyclers.

It takes a lot of metal to make a little money -- and a lot of damage.

"It's probably going to get them $20 to $30," Ben Hall with the Eugene Police Department said of the break-in at Astro, "and they probably did $25,000 to $30,000 worth of damage to do it."

Three other suspects ran from police and are still at large tonight. | BACKGROUND