Man faces felony for allegedly stealing tools from Springdale construction site

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Despite telling officers that he “did not want to go to jail” for allegedly taking tools from a construction site, a St. George man still ended up in the slammer Friday.

Chase Jordan McKane, 28, of St. George, booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, Feb. 22, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Chase McKane, 28, was arrested by St. George Police on a warrant involving a 2015 case in which the defendant was charged with second-degree felony burglary of a dwelling and misdemeanor theft after allegedly taking a leaf blower from a garage that was later located at a pawn shop under his name.

The case is still active due to a number of alleged probation violations for failed drug tests, and the arrest warrant was issued Jan. 31 after McKane failed to appear for a hearing.

McKane’s arrest attracted the attention of officers in Springdale investigating a theft case reported in late December 2018 in which a total of $2,900 worth of tools were allegedly taken from a storage trailer parked at a construction site.

The contractor had set up a camera after finding the trailer open and the lock cut weeks before. According to the probable cause statement submitted to the court in support of the arrest, surveillance footage showed the suspect, later identified as McKane, cutting the lock off the trailer using a grinder and then removing tools.

Officers spoke with McKane over the telephone Jan. 10, and he reportedly confirmed he was employed at the construction site when both incidents took place. Police say the defendant claimed he “did not have the right tools to do the job,” so he cut the lock off the trailer to “remove” the tools.

Springdale Police officer Britt Ballard told St. George News that the job site where the trailer was located is adjacent to a hotel that’s being built, where a number of contractors’ equipment trailers were located.

Ballard said McKane was working at the site alone when at least one of the incidents took place and that he was not authorized to enter the trailer, regardless of whether he “had the right tools for the job or not.”

The defendant told police that he used the tools for the job and then returned all of them to the contractor, claiming that he only had a radio still in his possession that he had not yet returned. This claim was disputed by the contractor, who told police that McKane did return a number of items but that there was still about $1,700 worth of unaccounted tools and equipment, Ballard said.

During the telephone interview with police, McKane refused to meet the officer in person because “he said he did not want to go to jail,” according to the probable cause statement.

After responding to several locations, the defendant was located in St. George Friday and was arrested on the warrant and transported to jail. He faces one count of third-degree felony theft and two misdemeanors, including burglary of a vehicle and criminal mischief.

At the time of this report, McKane remains in jail on $8,130 bond.

This report is based on statements from police and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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