The employee of a Wentzville auto detail shop has been charged with stealing a firearm from a vehicle.
On January 11, Joe D. Hockersmith III, 19, was working at the shop when the gun, a Ruger revolver, was reported missing from a vehicle that he washed.
Police questioned Hockersmith at the hotel where he was living and he denied taking the firearm but consented to a search of his room, police said. As the officer was handling the paperwork for the search, Hockersmith withdrew permission, claiming that he had a radioactive material called Rubidium in the room.
When police told Hockersmith that the Wentzville Fire Department and Hazmat staff would have to search the room because of the potential danger, Hockersmith admitted lying about the Rubidium and also admitted stealing the firearm. Police found the revolver in his room.
Hockersmith was charged with one felony count of stealing a firearm. Bond was set at $100,000, cash only.