LJWorld.com weblogs The Lawrence Crime Blotter

Former Wal-Mart manager suspected of theft


The former manager of Lawrence's Wal-Mart store, 3300 Iowa, has been arrested in connection with nearly $35,000 found missing from the store, according to police and jail records.James Richard Chappelle, 44, Lenexa, was arrested by Lawrence Police during the weekend after a regional Wal-Mart employee discovered $34,945.44 money missing during an audit, according to a police report.The theft happened between Sept. 18 and 19 and was reported to police Saturday. The report from the incident was released Tuesday. It classifies the alleged theft as "embezzlement," but police have not released details of how it happened.Chappelle was released on $1,500 bond and ordered to appear in court Oct. 6. According to jail records, he was arrested for theft of between $500 and $25,000, but no formal charges have been filed.Chappelle helped oversee the expansion of the store, at 3300 Iowa, into a "Supercenter" in recent years. Wal-Mart officials had said Monday that Chapepelle left the store, but a company spokeswoman declined to comment on why he had left.-contributed by [Eric Weslander.][1] [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander


Rick Aldrich 11 years, 7 months ago

wal-mart sucks!!!!!!!!!! rock on TARGET.

AngelKing 11 years, 7 months ago

lol well I guess the comments were getting pretty boring, what with being related to the story and all...

Steve Jacob 11 years, 7 months ago

Odd! Wal-Mart Head Managers do make good money.

Bronco7fan 11 years, 7 months ago

Macon. your the only armchair person that has an option on EVERY artical.

lunacydetector 11 years, 7 months ago

what do walmart managers make anyway, $125,000-$175,000 a year?

lunacydetector 11 years, 7 months ago

what's up with this thing? i keep tyring to post but then it shoots me back to a log in screen with a blank message saying i need to fill in all forms. then i have to remember what i just wrote and try to post again.

juscin3 11 years, 7 months ago

Now I know why they are not having the layaway after this Christmas....Hmmm...If they make that kind of money, then I'm in the wrong business! LOL

Jd Finch 11 years, 7 months ago

Conjugal visits? Mmmm. Not that I know of. Y'know, minimum-security prison is no picnic. I have a client in there right now. He says the trick is: kick someone's ass the first day, or become someone's bitch. Then everything will be all right. W-Why do you ask, anyway?

cutny 11 years, 7 months ago

Geez, Macon...your outbursts used to be kind of funny, if erratic. Now they're just pathetic. I would very surprised to hear that any manager in a Lawrence Wal-mart takes home 100K a year. It is good to know, Macon, that your surely extensive research has led to your claim that everyone that makes 8 bucks an hour steal paper clips and candy bars. This statement seems to say more about you than it does about your fellow 8 buck an hour contemporaries.

Sigmund 11 years, 7 months ago

This case is wierd not because so many people who want to know the managers salary are attempting to justify the theft based upon that salary or his income. What I want to know is who in the world commutes from Lenexa to Lawrence for a job other than employees of KU? I can't think of any private sector job that doesn't pay more anywhere but Lawrence.

chet 11 years, 7 months ago

As a former employee of the Lawrence Wal-Mart, I find this story to be, for a lack of a better word, shocking. I worked for Mr. Chappelle for two years and he is a man of integrity that cared for every employee that ever worked for him.

That said, I realize that caring for your employees doesn't necessarilly show what lies beneath, but I still find it very hard to believe that he embezzled that money.

AngelKing 11 years, 7 months ago

Sigmund- And others curious about the salary issue. The Lawrence store is a giant. There is enough business in Lawrence to Support at least 2 Wal-Marts, but due to local opposition, Wal-Mart has never been built beyond the first store. Even before becoming a supercenter, the Lawrence store was making more money than a lot of supercenters in the region. (And therefore worth a bigger bonus.)

Brandon Perkins 11 years, 7 months ago


I used to be an employee at Hypermart in Topeka and then Salina when I was an Assistant Manager. We had a store manager in Topeka "leave the company one night", if you know what I mean....

I agree with what you say about Lawrence making money, and I for one am glad the Supercenter is here. I did not get a chance to work with Richard, but had heard of him and the love he had for the store. This is VERY surprising....

Becca 11 years, 7 months ago

But then again, we don't know if he actually did it in the first place. They may have just arrested him because it happened on his watch.

Becca 11 years, 7 months ago

I don't know him personally, but I do know someone who's a manager of a Walmart, and they do make good money. It's the hourly empoyees whose pay sucks.

Becca 11 years, 7 months ago

Wow, can we say kleptomania? I always thought that Wal-mart managers made pretty good money, so this has to be the only reasonable explanation. It's not like he actually needs the money. Well, he might now, to pay for the lawyer and the legal fees.

concernedparent 11 years, 7 months ago

Becca, you don't really know whether or not he needed the money do you? I mean, do you know him personally and know all about his finances and family and personal life to know what he was planning on using the money for, or if he just took it to take it. I'm not sticking up for the man, I don't know him at all. I'm just wondering what his reasoning would be.

lunacydetector 11 years, 7 months ago

what do walmart managers make anyway, $100-$150,000 a year?

Brandon Perkins 11 years, 7 months ago

"what do walmart managers make anyway, $125,000-$175,000 a year?"

$50,000 base + bonus based on how the store does in profit....5% for the first million, 4% for the 2nd million, 3% for the 3rd million, 2% for the 4th million, 1% for the 5th million, 1/2% for each additional million.

I knew a couple managers who recieved bonus checks around the $150,000+ mark. Not to mention a manager who had never touched his base salary in the 30 years he has ben with Wal-Mart.

This is VERY surprising that this has happened here; though not uncommon. A Store Manager has access to ALOT of things in the store and to ALOT of systems. This happens more often than people realize. What they do not realize though is that there ALWAYS is a paper trail....

gccs14r 11 years, 7 months ago

Because they make their bonuses by getting the State to subsidize their employees.

dthroat 11 years, 7 months ago

This doesn't happen often (ever?) but I agree with Macon. Maybe for a different reason.

It really is nobody's business what a wally manager makes and it is not pertinent to the story. It is about MONEY. people who make 100,000 want to make more just like the guy who makes 20,000. It is just the manager has access to get the 30,000 to help himself/herself where the other guy might have to steal 30 that he has access to.

It is all about greed and OPM (other peoples money - in case you don't remember the movie).

AngelKing 11 years, 7 months ago

Before anyone starts attacking his character, remember how the news story read- That Mr. Chappelle (the accused) has been arrested, and that an audit showed $35,000 was missing. It did NOT say that he was arrested FOR the missing money. Mr. Chappelle was loved by his employees, and I would bet money a survey of Lawrence Wal-Mart associates would back that statement up. Whether he's involved with the missing money or not, the Lawrence store has lost a good friend and leader.

dthroat 11 years, 7 months ago

AngelKing - I kind of understand what you are saying about not attacking the character of Mr. Chappelle and that he might be a really good guy (don't know him and have no reason to believe anything bad), BUT as much as i don't trust the LJW staff to get things right ---- excuse me - the story is about the missing money and his arrest.

I really do not think he was arrested for littering and the LJW ties it to the story about the missing money. You might want to check your thinking on this one.

I am not suggesting that his is not a nice guy and that his employees really like him. He probably is. That DOES NOT mean he didn't take the money. LOTS of nice people make mistakes.

AngelKing 11 years, 7 months ago

dthroat- I don't think that the Journal World is inventing a connection. You're right, the facts are a)missing money and b)cops coming for the manager. And unfortunately, when this is all settled I don't think Mr. Chappelle is coming away clean, either. I just wanted to point out that, at least so far, no connection has been found. Or if it has, it's not been made public. The article mentions both the arrest and the missing money, and if you don't read carefully it looks like he was arrested FOR the missing money. Lawrence isn't Wal-Mart friendly, and my hope was to keep people at least somewhat objective. Judging from how quickly the comments have gone off topic though, I don't think my comment was necessary lol.

Rebecca Valburg 11 years, 7 months ago

"the Lawrence store has lost a good friend and leader"

I'm going to have to second that one, AngelKing. Yet again this morning, tears were shed on the way into work, knowing that he was gone.

I started working for Richard nearly six years ago. A great man, provided me with more opportunities than I ever hoped for, taught me so much about acting as a leader, how to encourage others to reach their potential, when to forgive and when to stand your ground. He treated others with kindness and respect, quietly taking care of associates as they struggled with personal tragedies, he was never afraid to jump in and work beside his associates. Whatever happened in the last two weeks - I don't understand, but it doesn't negate the person we all tried to be more like for the last five and a half years. I only hope that someday, I get the chance to work for someone else that's even half the man that Richard was.

There's a huge void in the store, and in my heart. You will be missed, Richard.

bnote 11 years, 7 months ago

"The lawrence store has lost a good friend and leader"

Yeah right! I worked there for three years and quit a few months ago. In my three years, I NEVER ONCE heard Richard say more than "Hello" to me. So many people said they thought he was snobby and stuck up. I heard other managers and interns talking about how Richard made comments very frequently about guys he thought were cute, referring to their butts and other parts. In my opinion, the only thing Richard seemed to care about was his Escalade and his yearly trips to Hawaii.

lucid 11 years, 7 months ago

I also worked for Walmart for over seven years and I found this story shocking and sad (not to mention hard to believe). Richard and I had our differences (even a full-blown arguement or two). I'll say this about him: if he were wrong or out-of-line he would always apologize to me. I've worked with quite a few managers over the years and in different stores. I may not have always gotten along with him, but he was an excellent manager. It's not easy to balance what the company wants with what people need, but I think he did a good job and definately will be missed.

Thank you, Marion, for pointing out something so basic that we often forget it.

AngelKing 11 years, 7 months ago


My sincere thanks for how clean this blog has remained. I've seen how a typical thread runs after the Journal World posts a Wal-Mart story, and I mean it when I say that I appreciate not one soul has engaged in personal attacks on Richard. (Except for the guy who worked at Wal-Mart for 3 years, we're not counting him;) Maybe it's just coincidence that no one has done any mudslinging. Or maybe (as I'm going to believe) some who would have made hurtful remarks chose to stay their hand, having seen that Richard, good guy or bad, genuinely touched many of those who knew him. (In a positive way, except for the one guy.) Seriously, you would have to make a solid effort to have worked at that store for even a couple months without Richard chatting you up. Again, my thanks.

suesay 11 years, 7 months ago

AngelKing, just curious, have you ever worked for Richard?

reginafliangie 11 years, 7 months ago

So I have to ask all of you Chapplle supporters, if he did in fact embezzel the money, are you all going to praise him, or will the slandering begin?

He may be a great guy, but it sounds like he is in a bit of trouble if he did do it. I bet the thread changes when the out come is revealed that he did do it.

Just a thought.

goodguy24 11 years, 7 months ago

I am really surprised about how this blog has been very interesting, and glad to see that most of us can make comments in good taste. Mr. Chappelle was a great guy to work for, and I could honestly never imagine him doing such an out-of-line act. As an employee at the Lawrence Wal-Mart, I find it hard to believe he could get away with it, considering a missing 20 dollar bill raises a big deal. But I agree with the comment that Mr. Chappelle was a good person. The store is finally done and there is kind of a void among some employees, but I know that things will get better if we all work for it. Thats it for now...

badbrainstorm 11 years, 7 months ago

Thief or not, good people are still good people. Circumstances in peoples lives that may make them act irrational from time to time. Circumstances that may never be revealed, even in the courtroom. He WAS a good man. And after years of regret and possibly even jail time, he will still be a good man. He will pay for his mistake the rest of his life. And it is always wise to let a dead dog lye.

AngelKing 11 years, 7 months ago

One good deed does not redeem a man from a lifetime of wickedness, and neither does one foul deed overshadow a lifetime of good works. I would work with Richard after he had been caught using paralyzed children to club baby seals to death, so highly do I think of him. So if it turns out he did take the money, I for one am not going to change my tune.

suesay- yes, I worked for Richard. And as an hourly, too, so for anyone who thinks I must have enjoyed a position of privelage, forget about it- I got screwed over to a certain degree by Wal-Mart, but then again had I been more proactive I could have prevented it, so who's fault is that? I had already spent over a decade in retail before I knew Richard, and probably had worked with more than a hundred managers by then. I'll never work in any form of retail again, and in fact I would say I was disgruntled when I left Wal-Mart, but I don't allow that to color my perception of any individual. Richard is without a doubt the best manager I've ever known, and like everyone else who knew him, I am in shock over this issue.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.