While Dog the Bounty Hunter wasn’t involved, another bail bondsman is credited with tracking down a suspect in a major theft ring targeting items including cell phones, which allegedly struck in Mount Airy earlier this year.
Authorities in two states had been seeking Antwon Bernard Richardson, 25, of Greensboro, in connection with a string of crimes during the spring. Included was a break-in at the U.S. Cellular store at 692 S. Andy Griffith Parkway in the Lowe’s hardware shopping center in early April.
A “substantial” amount of electronic items was taken, Brad Quesinberry, a detective with the Mount Airy Police Department, has said. The early morning crime involved forcibly entering the store before it opened and making off with as many cell phones and other items as possible.
Also hit the same day was a U.S. Cellular store in Galax, Va., involving similar tactics, with a front door glass broken and cell phones valued at more than $10,000 stolen.
Similar crimes linked to Richardson and various accomplices also occurred in Guilford, Bumcombe and Henderson counties.
Before the Mount Airy break-in in April, Richardson had been arrested in March in Hendersonville and charged in relation to the same kind of crime, but was released on bond. He also was an absconder from the N.C. Department of Corrections, due to being on probation and failing to show up for a meeting with the officer monitoring his case.
Meanwhile, Richardson was identified as one of the suspects in the Mount Airy and Galax incidents due to officers in the two jurisdictions sharing information. News reports seeking Richardson’s whereabouts were published as a result.
Yet in the end, the efforts of a bail bondsman led to last week’s apprehension of Richardson and one co-defendant, according to the Mount Airy detective.
That individual, who faced losing money from Richardson failing to appear in court, tracked down both Richardson and fellow suspect Daniel Lahorace Nelson, also 25, of Greensboro, and took them to the Guilford County Jail.
They were charged with being fugitives from justice.
So far, Richardson is the only one of the break-in suspects to be charged in Surry County. He is accused here of felonious breaking and entering and felony larceny after breaking and entering. “Both of them were believed to be involved,” Quesinberry said of Nelson and Richardson in reference to the U.S. Cellular break-in.
The Mount Airy detective has said he believes the same individuals also were responsible for another city break-in in late February, when a glass front door was shattered at B&H Computers on Edgewood Drive. More than 60 individual items, taking up three pages on a police incident report, were listed as missing then, including around 30 Apple iPhones along with Samsung Galaxy cell phones, data cards and other products.
Nelson is charged with break-in crimes in Guilford, Henderson, Buncombe, Nash and Edgecombe counties. A third Greensboro man, Shawn Kelly Neal II, 23, is facing similar charges in Buncombe and Guilford counties.
Now Surry County will be waiting in line to bring those responsible for the local crimes to trial, according to Quesinberry, and they eventually face extradition to Virginia for the charges filed there.
“Basically, it will be until after they are tried in the other jurisdictions first,” the detective added.
“And that’s going to be a while.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-719-1924 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.