Jason R. Alexander
Police investigators tracked down a camera Thursday that was allegedly stolen from Menard’s. Jason Alexander, 41, was charged with felony shoplifting.
It was the second shoplifting arrest from Menard’s in two consecutive days.
A Menard’s employee called the police at 9:12 a.m. Thursday and said a worker at the store found an empty box on a shelf that had contained a digital inspection camera, police investigator John Deal said.
The employee watched a video surveillance film and saw a man remove the camera from the box and walk out without paying for anything, Deal said.
Deal said the employee recognized a logo on the man’s jacket to be from a local business. That business was contacted and a representative positively identified the suspect in the video to be Jason Alexander.
Deal said police contacted Alexander, and Alexander told the officer that the camera was in his garage at his residence.
Alexander turned the camera over to the police and was charged with theft. The value of the camera is around $200. Alexander had two prior theft convictions so the current charge was enhanced to a felony. He was out of jail on bond from an arrest in late February on a theft charge, according to sheriff's records.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday, police checked out a reported shoplifting and were advised that Matthew Rauterkus, 27, had left the area in a blue minivan.
According the police report, that store staff said Rauterkus changed a price tag from more than $400 to around $80 on a large, boxed, vehicle canopy. He paid the lower price, and then drove around behind the store to load more items he purchased from the lawn and garden area.
Deal said police were told that Rauterkus loaded the van, concealing merchandise that he had not bought but were apparently staged there to steal, including a surveillance security system and headphones valued at more than $500.
A witness told police that a woman in the front seat of the van possibly covered stolen merchandise with a coat as they drove away.