The Action News 5 Scam Cam made Lamonte Gray an overnight celebrity -- and he's paying for it.
The 35-year-old from North Memphis is in the Shelby County jail held on a $150,000 bond after his arrest for theft of property in connection with last week's Stop Thief! episode.
Acting on a tip from that episode, detectives with the Shelby County Sheriff's ALERT Squad (Area Law Enforcement & Retailers Team) and the Action News 5 Investigators raided the Changes nightclub, no address, off Raleigh-Millington Road north of St. Elmo in Raleigh. Gray is leasing the building.
Inside, we found nearly $7,000 in music equipment, speakers and amplifiers Gray rented from Yarbrough's Music, 6122 Macon Rd. East Memphis -- and never brought back.
A week before, the Scam Cam showed Gray at the music store, slapping down $580 in stacks of small bills to rent the equipment. He also used an auto body business check card to secure the rental.
The cashier should have run that card on the spot. She didn't.
"That was on a closed business," says 'Aaron,' who asked that we not report his full name. "Just recently closed, so it hasn't quite made it through the system yet."
When Gray didn't return the merchandise by the deadline, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Action News 5 showed video of the transaction.
Turns out the owner of the property where Gray's nightclub stands recognized Gray on the video and led us to the music equipment. Yarbrough's Music was able to recover all of it.
"This is a great job by the ALERT squad, Action News 5, Andy Wise!" 'Aaron' exclaimed at the scene.
Gray has been all through the criminal justice system. Det. Chuck Tarwater of the Shelby County Sheriff's ALERT Squad (Area Law Enforcement & Retailers Team) says Gray has four outstanding warrants, including one for this theft.
"He has a lengthy (criminal) history that includes evading arrest in a motor vehicle," Tarwater says.
That's another thief down, and a lot more to go:
That's the ALERT Squad's web site. At the bottom of the home page, you'll find a link to e-mail tips to ALERT's detectives. Got any leads on any of the thieves profiled on Stop Thief! Got video of a thief that needs catching? Click on the link to e-mail ALERT or e-mail Andy Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also call ALERT's hotline at 901-756-LOSS.