California man charged with stealing hay

A California, Mo., man has been arrested and a Russellville man is being sought in connection with the theft of hay in southern Moniteau County.

John C. Ball, 32, California, has been arrested and charged with receiving stolen property in connection with the theft of hay and fuel from a Moniteau County farm. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance after methamphetamine was found when he was arrested, officials said.

Officials said an arrest warrant has been issued for Kevin W. Stinson, 34, Russellville, on a charge of receiving stolen property.

According to Sheriff Jeptha Gump, a Moniteau County farmer reported the theft of 32 large round hay bales, about 400 gallons of diesel fuel and several other items from his farm on July 14.

Officers said the farmer’s tractor and equipment were used to load the stolen hay. Investigators received anonymous tips the hay was taken to the Latham area. Investigators found 26 bales had been sold to a farmer north of Latham, Gump said.

Large bales of hay currently sell for $60 to $90 per bale; these bales were sold for $31 each, officials said.

Officers served search warrants Wednesday at two locations. Two pickup trucks and one flatbed trailer were seized, and Ball was arrested.

“The investigation continues with more charges likely,” said Gump.

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