GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) - A man accused of trying to steal a catalytic converter from an SUV in the parking lot of a Home Depot store in Clackamas County has been arrested, according to Gresham police.
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Catalytic converter thefts are still on the rise across the country and thieves seem to be getting bolder.
Video taken over the weekend captured a man taking off in a white Prius after people saw him using a saw underneath an SUV, before crawling out and getting away.
On Thursday, Gresham police say they received a tip about someone who matched the suspect's description near Southeast 192nd Avenue and Southeast Ankeny Court. Officers responded and initially surveilled the man because he was wearing a mask and using a leaf blower in a "random fashion," according to police.
The man eventually turned off the leaf blower and removed his mask. Police said officers were able to positively identify him as the man seen in the video taken over the weekend.
Police said the man, identified as Vladimir Shckavinsk, had removed the license plates from the Prius, which were later found inside the car. Shckavinsk was arrested and booked on a charge of first-degree attempted theft.
FOX 12 spoke with a man who lives in the neighborhood where Shckavinsk was arrested. He says he's seen Shckavinsk in the neighborhood daily.
"He drives everyday down these side streets - he goes up and down the neighborhood everyday," the man, who did not want to be identified, said, adding that Shckavinsk drove recklessly. "Me and my neighbor both jotted the license plate down, and low and behold there he was a month later."
He says when he say video of Shckavinsk in the Home Depot parking lot, he knew it was the same person driving through his neighborhood.
"You can't miss, there is no rear bumper on the car, so he is not real smart. He's driving a totally identifiable vehicle," he said. "So I called it in, said he is probably out here in Gresham."
The man told FOX 12 his neighborhood has been riddled with catalytic converter theft too. His neighbor had his stolen from their vehicle about six weeks ago.
No additional details have been released by police at this time.