A Missoula man, Keith Jessop, appeared in Missoula District Court to hear charges of felony theft after allegedly writing thousands of dollars in bad checks to Missoula businesses.

Court documents state that Jessop, 33, wrote a check for over $1,100 to Bob Ward and Sons and then attempted to return some of the items for cash the next day, something that is against store policy. A few days later, Jessop returned and attempted to purchase over $3,000 worth of merchandise, also by check. When challenged by store employees, Jessop left the store.

Jessop had visited several stores in Missoula, writing over $10,000 in bad checks. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Deputy Missoula County Attorney Karla Painter asked Judge Karen Orzech for $30,000 bail, due to Jessop's lengthy criminal history.

"The defendant has a significant criminal history, dating back to 2001 with a conviction for unlawful transactions with children," Painter said. "In 2003, he was convicted of felony possession of dangerous drugs and deferred sentence was later revoked. Most recently, he had a partner of family member assault, and the victim was his wife. He actually grabbed her by the throat and pushed to the floor so hard that she sustained a concussion. In addition, a Missoula police detective is investigating him for a possible sexual assault on a child."

Judge Orzech placed Jessop in the Missoula County Jail on $30,000 bond.


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