Suspect charged in stealing and bad check cases

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO - A Jefferson County man is behind bars charged with stealing a car and writing bad checks all over our area.

38-year-old Christopher Wallen from Hillsboro is locked up at the St. Charles County Justice Center in St. Charles.

The case that put him behind bars in St. Charles is a felony stealing charge out of St. Peters.

And it turns out that Wallen was his own worst enemy.

“Somebody to be that bold or brazen in their behavior is...it`s ludicrous,” said Ted Hantak, the General Manager of Napleton`s Mid Rivers Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram talking about Wallen.

Investigators say Wallen used a fake identity to steal a 2019 Jeep Cherokee from Hantak`s St. Peter`s dealership on Black Friday.

Hantak says Wallen`s loan was initially approved so he was able to get the car.

But then funding red flags started showing up and dealership officials couldn`t track down Wallen.

However, Wallen won a TV in a raffle when he bought the car and he took photos at the dealership including one right next to the car he allegedly stole.

Hantak`s employees posted the photos on Facebook and got a quick response.

“Facebook is definitely our friend when it comes to things like this...We were able to post his photo and somebody recognized him within a matter of about ten minutes,” explained Hantak.

He added about Wallen`s actions, “It`s wild. I couldn`t imagine somebody wanting to create their own evidence against themselves in the process.”

St. Peters police got involved and Wallen was arrested.

Turns out Wallen also faces charges for allegedly writing bad checks in many areas on both sides of the river.

Those include St. Charles County, Franklin County, Jefferson County, and St. Francois County in Missouri and Madison County in Illinois.

Court documents in the St. Peter`s case also say Wallen has previous bad check cases pending in St. Louis County, Ballwin, Chesterfield and Webster Groves.

“He took property that didn`t belong to him under false pretenses,” explained St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar.

He says Wallen is facing a felony charge of stealing $25,000 or more in the St. Peter`s case.

He says the actions taken by the dealership workers to identify Wallen were critical to getting him in custody.

“Without that picture, I don`t know if we`d be standing here today. We certainly wouldn`t be talking about this as quickly as we have now,” said Lohmar.

Hantak added, “It`s no fun to have to do this but hopefully we can get our vehicle back and we can move forward.”

Wallen could face substantial jail time in connection with the many cases where he is charged.

His bond in the St. Peters case is $25,000 cash only.