By Eric Stevick
For the Globe-Times
A Marysville man police described as a prolific catalytic converter thief, and one who helped solve a 10-year-old murder, will spend nearly 2 1/2 years in prison.
Michael Heuslein, 41, was sentenced in Snohomish County Superior Court Sept. 4. He pleaded guilty to six counts of malicious mischief.
Everett police believe Heuslein is responsible for stealing more than two dozen car emission devices. Each converter contains platinum and palladium, which are valuable on the scrap metal market. The converters on the undercarriage of cars and pickus are used to clean exhaust.
Heuslein reportedly admitted to catalytic converter thefts in Everett, Bellevue, Mill Creek, Tukwila and Sea-Tac International Airport.
On June 10, a car owner allegedly caught Heuslein attempting to steal a catalytic converter beneath his vehicle in the 7600 block of Evergreen Way in Everett. The Marysville man ran through a department store nearby and got away, but his face was caught on surveillance video.
Detectives had been interested in Heuslein for catalytic converter thefts for more than a year. But Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies asked Everett police to hold off because Heuslein was believed to have information that could be used in a homicide investigation.
Heuslein allegedly made statements to an acquaintance that he helped move and bury parts of a north county man who was killed by his wife in 2004, according to court papers. Michele L. Donohue, 48, was sentenced to 16 years in prison in July in the fatal stabbing of her husband, Byron Wright, 53. Some time later, her new husband and two buddies dug up Wright’s body and buried him under a shop floor off Wade Road between Marysville and Arlington.