On May 18, 2020, the Eureka Police Department took a theft report after packages were stolen from a porch on the 700 block of 15th Street in Eureka. On May 19th the victim reported to us that she found her stolen items being sold on Facebook Marketplace and had planned to meet the seller, Tara Rainey (34 of Eureka).
Eureka Police Officers and Detectives worked with the victim and decided an undercover officer would make the contact. On May 19, 2020, at about 6:00 p.m., Rainey attempted to sell the stolen item to the undercover officer. Rainey was immediately taken into custody on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant for petty theft. Rainey admitted to having additional property belonging to the victim in a nearby hotel room.
Officers responded to the hotel room and contacted Chad Mallett (47 of Eureka) and Vincent Kesse (47 of Eureka). Mallett and Kesse also had unrelated warrants. All but one item was recovered and returned to the victim. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Rainey, Mallett, and Kesse were cited on their warrants.
The investigation is ongoing and any charges related to the possession of stolen property are to be determined.
If you are a victim of a theft and find your items being sold online, contact your nearest law enforcement agency for advice on how to proceed.