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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • St. James man a suspect in local cases

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  • ST. JAMES – Police have verified that a St. James man arrested in Maries County last week is suspected in two other local incidents, one in the city limits and one just north of the city on Matlock Drive.
    Michael E. Gaither, 49 of St. James was taken into custody on April 2 by Maries County sheriff's deputies on suspicion of burglary, stealing, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of burglary tools.
    According to reports from the Maries County sheriff, Gaither was caught in the act of a burglary last week by a homeowner near Belle.
    He was held at gunpoint by the homeowner until deputies arrived.
    But this has been an ongoing issue for Gaither, St. James police officials say.
    According to Sgt. Roger Jarrett of the St. James Police Department, the incident in the City of St. James was a misdemeanor theft reported at Ray's Tire on North Jefferson in February.
    Gaither was taken into custody shortly after the call was made and later charged with misdemeanor stealing.
    His son, Grant Gaither, was also also arrested in connection with the incident.
    On March 4, Jonathan Light, 35, of Belle, was arrested at an abandoned home on Matlock Drive, just north of the city limits. It was later discovered that Gaither was in possession of stolen property from the same site, which was found in his vehicle while he was incarcerated in the Phelps County Jail.
    As of now, Gaither is currently being held in the Maries County Jail, according to Sheriff Chris Heitman.
    As for the details of  last week’s incident, the sheriff’s office received a 911 call that the landowner saw someone "stealing items from his house" on Highway 68 near Vichy when he returned home. He and a neighbor held Gaither at gunpoint until deputies arrived.
    "We located several bags of suspected methamphetamines, drug paraphernalia, prescription pills, and burglary tools on Gaither’s person," Heitman said in a statement. “The suspect is very lucky he wasn’t legally shot in this situation. I am big supporter of the second amendment, and with the victims help this career criminal has been brought back to justice.”
     
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