A 22-year-old convenience store clerk has been charged with grand theft, a felony, for allegedly falsifying transactions to steal merchandise from his employer.
Shalako J. Morrell, of Hailey, was formally charged with the crime Monday at an initial appearance in Blaine County Magistrate Court. According to court records, he pleaded not guilty.
Ketchum attorney Andrew Parnes was assigned as public defender. Morrell was released from the Blaine County jail later Monday after posting $3,000 bond.
Morrell, a clerk at Mountain View Grocery on state Highway 75 in south Ketchum, was arrested last Friday following an investigation by Ketchum police.
Police Chief Steve Harkins said Monday that the investigation was started after the store owner noticed inventory discrepancies and observed suspicious behavior by Morrell on video surveillance.
“He was making, allegedly, false transactions and voiding them out and stealing product,” Harkins said. “I’m assuming there was an inventory shortage, which alerted the owner.”
Harkins said the total value of items stolen was $93.24. He said state law provides that a felony charge can be filed, regardless of the amount taken, if “multiple thefts” occur.
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