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Randolph Co. scrap yard closing after thieves steal 99 catalytic converters, some belonging to Sparta mayor

The theft cost Grimm roughly $15,000, which he planned to use to fund his retirement.

EDEN, Ill. — An Eden, Illinois, business owner is fed up after thieves stole more than $15,000 in merchandise.

For the last 14 years Rick Grimm has poured his blood, sweat, and tears into his business.

“I occasionally get a car and I’ll bring it in, strip it down, and sell all of the precious little metals,” Rick Grimm said. “It’s what keeps me afloat.”

You won’t find any junkyard dogs on his property, but he does have cameras.

“Mine were down at the time and I was in my comfort zone,” Grimm said. “I thought I didn’t have anything to worry about.”

That changed during the early morning hours of May 8, when someone broke into his business.

“They stole almost 100 catalytic converters and it’s devastated my business,” Grimm said.

The thieves cut at least four catalytic converters off cars in the yard, before cutting their way into a shed and stealing 95 more, some of which belonged to Sparta Mayor Jason Schlimme.

“I’ve had people contact me and tell me who’s done it, but without the catalytic converters I can’t do anything,” Grimm said.

The theft cost Grimm roughly $15,000, which is leading him to consider closing shop.

“Yesterday, I just shut the gates for good and I’m not letting anybody else in,” Grimm said. “I’m just going to process the cars I’ve got and be done.”

The only way Grimm will reconsider is if he recovers his stolen property.

"I just wish people had more respect,” Grimm said. "It's kind of sad that this has to happen to me when I did everything I could to help everybody else, and then I get hit hard like this. It's just really devastating."

At this time Grimm is offering a $3,500 cash reward to any information that leads to an arrest or the return of those catalytic converters.

If you have any information, you are asked to call the Randolph County Sheriff's Office.

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