2 charged in area Walmart thefts

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Men allegedly hit multiple Walmarts in Barry County

A Monett man and a Pierce City man have been arrested and charged after allegedly stealing items from the Cassville Walmart, as well as other Walmarts in the area.

Keith Rock, 21, of Monett, and Joshua Rust, 33, of Pierce City, are each charged with felony stealing.

According to a probable cause statement filed by Luke Hackett, officer with the Cassville Police Department, on Jan. 2, police were called to the Walmart in Cassville for a shoplifting report. Witnesses said Rust and Rock entered the store, each took a cart and began going throughout the store putting various items in their carts, including five Hewlett Packard laptop computers, valued at $279 each for a total of $1,395, and other items valued at $115.65.

The witness said Rust allegedly left the store without paying for the items, and the security devices on the laptops activated the alarm. The witness said once the alarm sounded, Rust began running with the cart until he reached a silver sedan in the parking lot. Rock allegedly left his cart and his items at the door when the alarm sounded, running to the same vehicle.

The witness said Rust took four of the laptops with him, leaving one laptop and the other items in the cart as he and Rock sped away.

Rock and Rust were arrested the next day by Monett police, having allegedly stolen items from the Walmart in Monett.

Rust allegedly told Monett police the pair have been traveling throughout southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas stealing from various Walmarts, allegedly admitting to stealing from the Cassville Walmart on Jan. 2.

Rust is being held in the Barry County jail on a $15,000 bond. He was arraigned on Monday and has a disposition hearing scheduled for Jan. 19 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

Rock is being held on two bonds, $10,000 for stealing from Walmart and $15,000 for tampering with a motor vehicle. He has yet to be arraigned on the stealing charge.

The tampering case stemmed from a Dec. 11, 2016 incident, when according to a probable cause statement filed by Det. Don Massengill, with the Monett Police Department, Rock allegedly broke the windshield of a Speed Queen Laundromat vehicle with a bottle jack. The incident was predicated by Rock allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, a crime for which he is facing five other misdemeanor charges.

Another subject being interviewed at the Barry County jail said Rock told her he was "probably going to be in trouble for busting a window the other night," according to Massengill's statement.

Rock was arraigned for the tampering charge on Thursday, and a disposition hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 8:30 a.m. in Foulke's courtroom.

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