An Urbana man accused of stealing from vendors of a local business appeared in court Wednesday for an initial arraignment hearing.
No plea was entered during the initial hearing for Mark J. Mefford, 41, who was indicted this month for theft, a fifth degree felony.
According to information from Urbana Police Lt. Seth King, on Dec. 28, 2016, Urbana Police Officer Todd Pratt began an investigation of theft that was reported to him by various consignment vendors at Mefford’s H. Holding Company, located in Monument Square.
The vendors reported that over the preceding several months they had not been paid by Mefford for items he sold for them in the store and were out over $5,000.
During Pratt’s investigation, King stated, he learned Mefford had been stealing from the vendors, indicating he was struggling with an addiction as well as attempting to keep another business afloat.
The grand jury indictment contends the alleged conduct occurred Aug. 15, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016, and involved nine victims.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Mefford was ordered to have no contact with the nine victims as part of a personal recognizance bond. He was also found indigent and will be represented by a court appointed attorney.
The arraignment hearing will continue on Friday.