Thursday, December 16, 2010
Suspect charged with burglaries
By SUE WATSON
A Benton County man has been arrested and charged in burglaries of convenience stores in Marshall and Benton counties and Hardeman County, Tenn., according to sheriff Kenny Dickerson.
Matthew Isiah Richards, 18, of the 500 block of Richards Road in Ashland, was arrested around midnight December 8 and charged with burglaries and break-ins of businesses in Potts Camp, Waterford, Byhalia, Red Banks, Holly Springs, two locations in Benton County and one or more in Hardeman County, Dickerson said.
A co-defendant is also being sought in connection with some of the burglaries, he said.
The suspect is alleged to have taken his father’s .38 caliber pistol without permission – shooting out the front glass of the businesses to enter and then removing the cash register – all after the businesses closed at night.
“More than one cash register was found alongside public roads,” Dickerson said.
The suspect was identified from video camera tape recordings at some of the burglarized businesses, the sheriff said.
Helping with the multifaceted investigation were Marshall County investigators led by Maj. Kelly McMillen, chief Gary Looney of the Byhalia Police Department, and Benton County Sheriff Arnie McMullen, who helped piece together bits and pieces of information that led to the identity of the suspect, Dickerson said.
The suspect is alleged to have used the pistol secretively without his father’s knowledge and to have returned the pistol to where it was secured by the dad on each occasion, the sheriff said.
“His dad had no idea he had been using the gun whatsoever,” Dickerson said. “We have reason to believe that about 11 locations in Tennessee and Mississippi were burglarized by Richards using the same M.O.”
Richards is in jail after a previous bond for a felony crime charge in Benton County was revoked after a petition to circuit court by the district attorney’s office.
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