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Three charged after break-in at Merrell’s Check Cashing

Two men and a male juvenile have been charged in Independence County Circuit Court with three felony counts of breaking or entering along with three counts of misdemeanor theft. 

In the early morning hours of Jan. 6, court documents state the defendants — Christopher Columbus Russell Jr. of Koshkonong, Mo., 23; Jacob Daniel Ray of Bentonville, Ark., 24; and a 17-year-old juvenile of Batesville — drove to Merrell’s Check Cashing in Batesville. While the juvenile left the area, Russell and Ray dismantled and created an opening in the security fence at the business. While inside, Russell and Ray siphoned gasoline from three vehicles and took the battery from each one.

The juvenile then returned and picked up the two men and the items they had stolen.

Through security video at Merrell’s Check Cashing, Russell was identified, according to court information. Detective Aaron Moody then followed leads and identified all three involved in the break-ins and thefts. Arrest warrants were issued for all three.

Russell is in jail and placed on a $20,000 cash or property bond.

Ray is in custody and placed on a $25,000 bond. As of yesterday, authorities were in the process of taking the juvenile into custody.  His bond was set at $20,000.

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