Stolen items sold on eBay


Well-known member
Jul 13, 2003
Reaction score
Stolen items sold on eBay

By the Tribune’s staff
Published Friday, July 23, 2004

A Columbia man is accused of stealing firearm-related equipment from his employer and selling it across the globe via the Internet, Boone County sheriff’s Detective Andy Anderson said.


When staff at MidwayUSA noticed a substantial amount of merchandise missing during a recent inventory check, they contacted the sheriff’s department. An employee reviewing the online auction service eBay spotted numerous items sold by a particular vendor as matching Midway’s missing merchandise, Anderson said.
The items included firearm parts, such as triggers and scopes. None of the merchandise included ammunition or actual firearms.

Detectives obtained eBay records revealing the seller to be a MidwayUSA employee, Ralph Edward Hester Jr. of 5894 Kent Drive.

Hester, 38, allegedly sold 115 items stolen from MidwayUSA, Anderson said. Company officials estimated an actual loss of more than $16,000.

Additionally, detectives found documents relating to the sale of the items though eBay. Hester allegedly sold the wares across the United States and as far away as Germany, Anderson said. His customers won’t face any charges because they were unaware the merchandise was stolen, Anderson said.

Hester faces a Class C felony for allegedly dealing in stolen property. He turned himself in yesterday at the Boone County Jail, posted a $5,000 bond and was released.

In November, Hester completed five years of probation for a 1998 burglary conviction.

In March, Eric J. Deutsch of Columbia was arrested for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 in designer clothing, DVDs and sporting goods from the FedEx ground-shipping dock in Columbia where he worked and auctioning the items on eBay.

Deutsch awaits a preliminary hearing Aug. 24.

Columbia Tribune
Top Bottom