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Leadville officer accused of taxidermy thefts

Monday, December 3, 2012 | 8:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:44 p.m. CST, Monday, December 3, 2012

PERRYVILLE — An eastern Missouri police officer is accused of stealing from clients of his taxidermy service.

Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf said 29-year-old Eric Smith of Perryville faces felony charges of stealing and stealing by deceit.

Schaaf said Smith took orders and deposits for mounting animal heads in his Preserving Memories Taxidermy business, but he didn't perform the service, then didn't return the animal parts and deposits.

Investigators said a search last week of Smith's home and business turned up some of the items.

Schaaf said Smith is a police officer in Leadwood in nearby St. Francois County.

Smith wasn't available for comment Monday. He does not have a listed home telephone number, and a message left with his attorney, Patrick McMenamin of Cape Girardeau, was not immediately returned.


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