BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois priest on probation for shoplifting is now accused of trying to pilfer a $28 antique ashtray from a store.

St. Clair County prosecutors on Thursday charged 43-year-old Steven Poole of Okawville with retail theft.

Police tell the Belleville News-Democrat that witnesses inside Keil’s Antiques and Gifts in Belleville saw Poole walk out of that store Monday with an ashtray he didn’t pay for. Police say the store’s owner and employee followed the priest’s vehicle and called police, who arrested Poole.

Poole is serving probation in a Franklin County case in which he stole butter and a sofa cover from a store last year.

Poole couldn’t be reached for comment. He doesn’t have a listed telephone number, and court records don’t show if he has an attorney.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. Gerald Urban says:

    Many retail stores and businesses use DVR surveillance systems to protect their property against theft and vandalism. Visit

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