Mount Pleasant police say a 61-year-old man is facing felony retail theft charges after he tried stealing more than $600 in building materials from Menards by hiding the stuff under other building materials.

John Cihler, of Racine, was charged Wednesday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of retail theft. If convicted, he faces up to 3-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called Tuesday to Menards, 3101 S. Oakes Road, for a report of a theft in progress out in the lumber yard. When officers arrived, store employees told them that Cihler had purchased some items – including a pick ticket for fiber board – but hid $628 worth of building materials beneath the fiber board when he went back to the lumber yard to pick up the board.

Police say Cihler told them he was distracted by a conversation with another contractor and that he didn’t mean to take the rubber roofing, five-gallon bucket of adhesive and seam tape without paying for them. During questioning at the police department though, Cihler admitted that he took the items because he didn’t have the money to pay for them.

Cihler was assigned a $1,000 signature bond at his initial appearance and was out of jail by Thursday morning. He will next be in court Dec. 10 for a preliminary hearing.