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Man charged with stealing over $20K in jewelry from Eau Claire Kohl’s

According to investigators, the 26-year-old Minnesota man is a suspect in several other thefts from Kohl’s stores.
According to investigators, the 26-year-old Minnesota man is a suspect in several other thefts...
According to investigators, the 26-year-old Minnesota man is a suspect in several other thefts from Kohl’s stores.(KCBD Video)
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 11:36 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A man is charged with theft after investigators say he hid in Kohl’s Department Store in Eau Claire overnight and then stole over $20,000 in jewelry in April.

26-year-old Thomas McRunnel of Rosemount, Minn. was charged with burglary of a building or dwelling and retail theft of over $10,000, both felony charges, in Eau Claire County Circuit Court Wednesday, according to online court records.

The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a security alarm that had gone off early in the morning on April 29 at the Kohl’s store, according to court documents filed with the charges. The security company for the store said they saw a man on security cameras inside the store. Officers arrived and heard an alarm from outside of the store. No one was inside, but officers said that four drawers in the jewelry section had been opened and emptied and an air wedge was holding one of the cases open. Kohl’s said that $22,915 worth of jewelry had been taken.

According to documents filed with the charges, security video shows that McRunnel entered Kohl’s in Eau Claire on April 28 at 8:43 p.m., before the store closed at 9 p.m. He then hid himself on the shelf in the luggage section of the store until the re-stocking staff left at about 1:15 a.m. April 29. Surveillance video shows McRunnel leaving his hiding spot amongst the luggage display and heading towards the jewelry section at 1:46 a.m. At 1:52 a.m., surveillance cameras showed McRunnel walking through the store with a bag full of items in his left hand, and at 1:53 a.m., when the lights come on, he is then seen running through the store and exiting.

Thomas McRunnel
Thomas McRunnel(Anoka County Jail)

Police learned that the suspect had been identified by Kohl’s loss prevention team as someone who had been involved in several thefts involving Kohl’s stores, including in Apple Valley and Woodbury, Minnesota. In those two cases, which occurred on April 13 and April 14, only jewelry had been taken as well. After comparing photos and videos from the other incidents, Eau Claire Police identified McRunnel as the suspect.

McRunnel is scheduled to appear in Eau Claire County Circuit Court on June 15 for an initial appearance, according to online court records. McRunnel faces a maximum sentence of 22 and a half years in prison and a maximum penalty of $50,000 if convicted of both charges.

McRunnel is currently held in the Anoka County (Minn.) Jail on several theft and drug charges in two other states. He is being held on $102,000 bail for Polk County, Iowa and $3,000 bail for Washington County, Minn. He was arrested on June 4, according to online jail records.

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