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justice 4jUpdated
Alton, Mo. — James Chronister, 48, of Alton, was arraigned today in Oregon County Circuit Court here charged with stealing as much as $250,000 in merchandise over a four-year period from his employer, Tucker Auction and Wholesale of Thayer, Mo.
Chronister was taken into custody last week at the beginning of an investigation by the Thayer Police Department. The warrant for his arrest was approved Friday.

James Chronister

James Chronister

The investigation was conducted by Sgt. James Martin, who was alerted by the business owner that a knife had been put under a trash compactor. We conducted a surveillance and found Chronister. Martin said Chronister confessed to the ongoing theft after goods were found in his truck, home and storage area.
Sgt. Martin said Chronister took all kinds of merchandise including hunting and camping gear, and had just walked out and put it in his truck and left. The merchandise was taken from the company warehouse in Thayer.
Chronister is being held on $100,000 bond in the Thayer Jail. His next court appearance is May 21 to determine counsel status. He is charged with theft/stealing property with a value of $25,000 or more, a Class B felony. A plea of not guilty was entered today.
To view the probable cause statement — which details searches of Chronister’s truck, van, storage building and home — click James Chronister Probable Cause.
Update: Chronister is now represented by Assistant Public Defender Bethany Rae Hanson of West Plains. On May 21 a bond reduction hearing and preliminary hearing both were set for 1 p.m. May 28 before Oregon County Circuit Court Judge Harvey Allen.
Update: On May 29 Chronister’s arraignment was scheduled for June 2. Hanson filed a motion for discovery. The case had been bound over to Circuit Court and will be heard by Judge David Paul Evans

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