Trooper captures Missouri fugitive in St. Johns County

Christopher Snyder, 53, accused of stealing nearly $50,000 by way of fraud

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A man wanted by police in Missouri since 2016 has been captured in St. Johns County, authorities said.

Christopher Snyder, 53, was taken into custody Monday afternoon by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper during a traffic stop on northbound Interstate 95 near International Golf Parkway.

According to FHP, the trooper pulled Snyder over because his license plate was covered and when the trooper ran his name, it came back with four fugitive warrants out of Maryland Heights, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. 

Police in Missouri said Snyder had been on the run since 2016. Detectives there said he stole close to $50,000 by way of fraud and then disappeared right before additional charges were filed. They had no idea he had moved to Northeast Florida.

“We really had no idea where he was living," Detective Chris Silliman with the Maryland Heights Police Department told News4Jax by phone on Tuesday. "We knew he wasn’t in the St. Louis County area anymore and it pretty much came to a dead end as to where he is living now.”

According to Maryland Heights police, in 2016, Snyder stole his roommate’s identity by taking credit cards and a checkbook before going on a gambling spree at various casinos. When it was all said and done, detectives said Snyder had stolen nearly $50,000 by way of fraud.

The St. Augustine homeowners who allowed Snyder to rent a room had no idea he was a fugitive from Missouri. 

"I did a background check on everybody. I did a background check on him and everything came up normal," homeowner Cindy Johnson said.

Johnson said during Snyder's three-month stay in her home, he was always out of money and would tell her and the other residents about how he was working different jobs and how was previously a news anchor in Missouri. 

“He’s just a storyteller I guess," Johnson said, adding that Snyder told them that he was going to be working at Channel 4, "reporting and covering hurricanes."

An internet search did not yield any results related to him working in television news broadcasting. 

The trooper who arrested Snyder said he told him the same story about just being hired to work for News4Jax. But he was never hired to work at the station and there is no record of him applying for any position. 

Snyder was booked into the St. Johns County jail just after 7 p.m. Monday, online jail records show.

He is now facing extradition back to Missouri.

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