Perry County man accused of selling stolen goods on eBay

Thursday, August 17, 2006

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- The doctrine of "buyer beware" may need to add "seller beware" after Perry County sheriff's deputies arrested a man accused of selling them stolen goods on the Internet.

JCS/Tel-Link reported to the sheriff's department that two business band receivers and a transmitter were stolen around July 26 from its site near Shakertown, just south of Perryville, a release from the sheriff's department stated.

Sheriff's investigators found the stolen goods for sale on the online auction Web site eBay and outbid the competition to buy the equipment.

The accused seller, Christopher M. Abell, 18, of Perryville, was arrested when the sheriff's department arrived to pick up the goods and make "payment," Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf said.

Abell was charged Tuesday with two counts of felony burglary and two counts of misdemeanor stealing. He was released Wednesday after securing a $2,500 cash-only bond.

According to Schaaf, Abell and a group of friends hopped a fence around a radio tower to climb it. Abell, who lives about 100 yards from the tower, is accused of breaking into a shed next to the tower and stealing the two receivers and transmitters.

The receivers and transmitter are used for internal business purposes and would have to be programmed by a technician, Schaaf said. Some of the sheriff's investigators thought the thief might try to sell the goods out of the county, and eBay was considered as a means to do so, he said.

When sheriff's deputies got online, they found someone in Perryville selling the goods.

"Lo and behold, those were the radios we were looking for," Schaaf said.

Officers told Abell they were from out of town on the way to St. Louis, and arranged to exchange the money for the items in Perry County, Schaaf said.

Neither the receivers nor the transmitter were worth more than $300 apiece, and the bid for all three was less than a couple hundred dollars, the sheriff said.

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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