An Eau Claire man is accused of stealing a $58,000 check from a business during a burglary.
When he was interviewed as a suspect, police said he was in possession of a stolen vehicle.
Jason T. Harding, 38, was charged Thursday in Eau Claire County Court with felony counts of theft, burglary of a building, identity theft, uttering a forgery and operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, and six felony counts of bail jumping.
He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of bail jumping, obstructing an officer and operating after revocation.
A $25,000 cash bail was set for Harding, which prohibits him from drinking alcohol, entering taverns or having contact with Christie Heating and Cooling.
Harding returns to court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.
According to the criminal complaint:
An Eau Claire police officer was sent to Christie Heating and Cooling, 829 Eddy St., on Sept. 20 for a burglary.
The owner said he arrived at the business and discovered damage to a door and property missing.
Some items were taken from the business office, including a check for $58,000 that Christie Heating and Cooling received from another business.
The owner contacted the other business, which notified its bank and canceled the check.
Surveillance video from Christie Heating and Cooling showed a male suspect walking outside the business overnight while holding a crowbar.
During the investigation, Harding was identified as the suspect.
Police found Harding walking out to a truck Sept. 29 at the Maple Manor Motel.
Police searched Harding and found the stolen $58,000 check in his wallet. It had been endorsed with a signature, which was not legible, on the back.
Police checked Harding’s truck and discovered it had been stolen in Lake Delton.
An ID card and credit cards listed to a different person were found inside Harding’s wallet. He claimed a friend found the cards in a parking lot and gave them to him.
Harding then admitted to his involvement in the burglary at Christie Heating and Cooling.
Harding also admitted to taking the $58,000 check. His plan was to use the money to pay off his fines, and that he thought it could change his life.
Harding was free on various signature bonds, which prohibited him from committing new crimes.
If convicted of the felony charges, Harding could be sentenced to up to 37 years in prison.