Impound lot supervisor may be first of many arrests for theft

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton hopes to soon close the case on a long-running theft ring at the city's impound lot.

"It ticks me off," said Wharton during a Tuesday news conference.

The mayor did not mince words regarding the results of an ongoing investigation that includes Monday's arrest of lot supervisor Rickey Shotwell.

"I call it just like it is," said Wharton. "Thieves!"

Shotwell is accused of allowing one man to pilfer vehicles for years before sharing stolen items like laptops or navigation systems. That man became an informant after he was caught on recently installed surveillance cameras.

Police say their informant delivered the stolen stuff to Shotwell in the parking lot of a Church's Chicken located less than a mile from the impound lot in Frayser.

A woman who answered the door at Shotwell's house requested privacy.

"Can you give me family the same respect that everybody else's family gets," she said.  "Including Mayor Wharton when his son got in trouble."

Shotwell's arrest could be the first of many at the impound lot.  Wharton said an entire shift had already been suspended.

"We have a cancer among our ranks," said Wharton.  "Let's cut it out."

And spare many victims of car theft or other crimes, he said, from being violated again.

The city of Memphis has paid out thousands in recent years to settle theft claims tied to the impound lot.

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