Former Lake City police officer facing theft charges
A Lake City police officer was arrested Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 24, at Walmart in Trumann. Steven A. Chamness, 43, had been a police officer in Lake City for 15 years. Charges are theft of $1,000 or more and less than $5,000, a class D felony.
According to an incident report, Trumann police was dispatched to Trumann Walmart in reference to a shoplifting complaint. Officers found Chamness detained by a Walmart asset protection employee. Trumann officer was informed Chamness concealed several items of merchandise by placing the items inside a cardboard box that contained a mailbox. Mr. Chamness selected another mailbox and placed the boxes in his shopping cart. He then purchased the mailboxes at the check-out without paying for the concealed items.
A demagnetization tool was found in Chamness' pocket. The magnet tags on the concealed merchandise had been demagnetized and would not trigger the alarm on exit from the store. Most of the merchandise in the box were electronics including a camera SD card, two car headlight bulbs, two Nikon scopes, digital camera, digital recorder, two video games controllers, two GPS units and six memory cards for a portable video game console.
A probable cause hearing was held Feb. 25. Judge Ron Hunter set a $50,000, cash or surety, bond. Chamness is to appear in Circuit Court of Poinsett County on March 30.
Lake City Police Chief Winred Saffell said Chamness was terminated immediately following the probable cause hearing.