Chamberlain teen charged with forgery, burglary, escape
CHAMBERLAIN -- A Chamberlain man is being held in the Brule County Jail on several charges, including escape.
James Shortbear, 18, was arrested March 3 after he tried to cash a forged check at Wells Fargo in Chamberlain. Further investigation found that prior to trying to cash the check, he had broken into the post office and another business. Three days after getting arrested, he escaped from the Brule County Jail.
He is charged with forgery and two counts of third-degree burglary, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Shortbear allegedly took another person's check, which was written to AT&T, and he scratched out AT&T and put his own name, then tried to cash it at Wells Fargo. Before the banker could verify the check, Shortbear left the bank, according to court documents.
He later broke into Don's Shoe Repair, of Chamberlain, and took $60 in change.
The same day, he broke into the post office and took a traveler's check written for $210.
A few days after he was arrested, Shortbear escaped from the Brule County Jail. Around 6:30 p.m. On March 6, Shortbear walked out the front entrance of the jail wearing striped jail pants, an orange jail shirt and a blanket over his head, according to court documents.
Law enforcement searched a two-block radius and found Shortbear around 7 p.m. hiding behind a large bush by a home. He was arrested for first-degree escape, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.