Covington Police make arrest in connection with tire thefts

COVINGTON -- The Covington Police Department has arrested a man in connection with the theft of 60 tires and a quantity of wheels from two Covington businesses.

Jonathan David Richter, 26, of 1648 Gum Creek Road, Oxford, faces charges of felony theft by taking, criminal trespass and parole violation.

According to CPD Capt. Philip Bradford, he received a call on Saturday morning, June 8, from the owner of Tire Depot on U.S. Highway 278, saying he was missing a large quantity of tires from a fenced area at his business. The thief was caught on video surveillance.

"He had been the victim of a criminal damage incident several months back and after that he got a state-of-the-art security camera system and there are cameras everywhere. It even has night vision on it," Bradford said.

The owner gave Bradford a detailed description of the man who could be seen loading tires onto his Ford F-150 pickup on two separate occasions -- June 4 around 11 p.m. and June 7 around 10 p.m.

"One time he got about 28 or 29 tires on the truck and the other time he got 32 tires loaded," Bradford said.

Bradford passed the information along to the CPD Patrol Division that Saturday and at their 6 p.m. briefing officers were given the lookout for the vehicle.

"Three hours later, Officer Hayward Derouen saw him on Emory Street around The Depot. He stopped him and got his ID and he had active warrants out and we were able to arrest him," Bradford said.

Bradford said he went to the scene and was confident that Richter was the man involved in the Tire Depot burglary, but initially he was arrested on warrants in connection with the theft of wheels from a Washington Street business.

"He had taken those wheels to the recycling place here in town and sold them for scrap," Bradford said, adding that Richter was also on parole for theft.

Once the Tire Depot opened Monday morning, Bradford said he was able to view the video footage and confirm that Richter was their man.

"You could see him plain as day loading the tires on the truck," Bradford said.

Bradford said the stolen tires had already been sold to another business which had nothing to do with the crime.