Stop Thief! MOST WANTED: Steve Richardson CAPTURED - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Stop Thief! MOST WANTED: Steve Richardson CAPTURED

He is in the top five of the most wanted retail thieves in Shelby County, according to detectives with the Shelby County Sheriff's ALERT Squad (Area Law Enforcement & Retailers Team).

Profiled for the first time on Stop Thief! in August, 41-year-old Steve Richardson of Orange Mound is now held in the Shelby County jail on a $30,000 bond. 

Records show he's charged with theft of property after a month's worth of computer heists.

"Close to $2,000 worth of computers over a 30-day period," says ALERT Det. Dee Bowling.

Richardson's calling card is placing computer systems in shopping carts, then pushing them out of garden center exits at department stores.  If he's stopped, he tells an employee he bought the systems in the electronics department.  If he's asked to produce a receipt, he leaves the store without the merchandise.

Bowling says he was caught when he tried to expand his scheme to Nashville.  Loss prevention officers at a department store there caught him trying to steal a computer system.  They turned him over to Nashville police.

"They ran a check, noticed that he had warrants out of Shelby County, notified us, and our deputies went up there, picked him up and brought him back," Bowling says.

A prolific thief with a penchant for stealing beer, too, Richardson is practically a celebrity to ALERT's detectives.

"I wouldn't call him a celebrity.  I would call him a problem with ALERT," says ALERT Sgt. Clay Aitken.  "He was hitting multiple, various locations daily."

The Action News 5 Scam Cam has captured Richardson boosting his favorite prize - a $769 Dell Inspiron Desktop 530 computer system.  At least twice, workers at department stores have foiled Richardson's attempts, only to let him leave the premises.

Aitken says at least once, he tried to bribe a store employee with cash to let him leave with stolen merchandise.  The employee refused, but let him escape.

Because of thefts like his, "You're Stuck"... paying an extra $4.08 on every Dell 530 system to cover the losses.

"He's a professional criminal, and he's the type of people we want to get off the streets," Aitken says.

He's off the streets now.  

If you have a tip on some sticky fingers, click here:

That's the ALERT Squad's home page.  You'll notice at the bottom of the page, there is a link to e-mail the squad's detectives with your tips.  Don't sweat it -- your information will be kept confidential, and we could use your help!


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