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Yorba Linda Slaying Suspect Is Captured : Crime: The former L.A. sheriff’s deputy had a large arsenal at the time of his arrest in San Francisco.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy wanted on suspicion of murder and string of Orange County robberies and who had vowed never to be taken alive, was in custody Tuesday after a routine traffic stop near a San Francisco marina.

Stephen Moreland Redd, 49, had been featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted” and had been a fugitive since August.

He was arrested Monday night after a park detective spotted an altered registration tag on his parked Datsun and Redd then offered false identification, authorities said.

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The detective opened Redd’s trunk to find several loaded semiautomatic weapons, a laser scope, ammunition, bulletproof body armor, a grenade launcher and grenades, four wigs and several knit hats and pairs of gloves, police said.

“The guy was pretty serious,” said arresting officer Robert Jansing of the United States Park Police. “He was into some heavy-duty stuff.”

Police said Redd, a convicted bank robber, is wanted in connection with a fatal supermarket robbery last July in Yorba Linda, as well as another shooting in Orange and robberies in both cities.

Officers from the Brea Police Department, which patrols Yorba Linda, flew to San Francisco Tuesday morning to arrange Redd’s return to Orange County.

Redd was being held without bail at the San Francisco Police Department’s jail, and probably will be brought to Orange County within the next week after a court hearing in the Bay Area, Brea Sgt. Ed McDonald said.

Redd, a surfer and roller skater with a shaved head and an IQ of 131, served as a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy from 1967 to 1973, when he resigned for personal reasons.

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In 1982, Redd held up a Security Pacific Bank in La Habra, leading police on a three-county chase at speeds of up to 100 m.p.h. while firing an automatic rifle out the window at his pursuers. A La Habra officer was wounded in the chase.

Redd served 11 years in state prison, during which time he became an award-winning boxer. He was given additional prison time for trying to escape by scaling a fence at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo. He was shot in the arm during the attempt.

Paroled in April, 1993, Redd was ordered to undergo psychiatric counseling. He was working as a self-employed construction worker and living in Fullerton, according to corrections officials.

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Orange Police allege that on May 31, 1994, Redd shot an unarmed security guard in the shoulder in a Vons parking lot on Lincoln Avenue and then fled wearing a long wig. Redd also was named as a suspect in the March holdup of a Sav-On store in the same shopping center.

Orange Police Lt. Timm Browne described Redd as “an extremely dangerous man with an exceptionally violent background and no regard for positions of authority . . . a treacherous type of criminal who has the know-how to be extremely dangerous.”

On July 18, 1994, police allege, Redd held up an Alpha Beta store in the Tall Mouse Shopping Center in Yorba Linda. When Timothy Eugene McVeigh, the store’s 34-year-old night manager, interrupted the robbery, he was shot once in the chest by the lone gunman. McVeigh, a 12-year employee who lived in Santa Ana, died later that night.

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The gunman, who was wearing a shoulder-length wig, escaped with $156, store officials said. Police identified Redd as the suspect and sent out bulletins warning that he had “told relatives he ‘will not be taken alive.’ ” Based on telephone records seized at his Fullerton home, Brea police believed that the former office fled to San Francisco, San Mateo or San Jose.

There was no sign of Redd until Monday night when Jansing, a decorated investigator, was patrolling the Gas House Cove Marina in downtown San Francisco just before 5 p.m.

Jansing said he noticed something wrong with Redd’s license plate. A registration tag in the corner of the plate, the 34-year-old investigator said, “looked like it didn’t belong.”

Jansing asked Redd for his license, registration and identification. The officer returned to his patrol car to check the information, none of which proved accurate.

“The guy’s lying about his name for some reason,” Jansing recalled thinking. “I had a feeling this guy was wanted for something.”

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Returning to where Redd still sat behind the wheel, Jansing said “‘I want your right name, or you’re going to jail.’ I think I kind of took him by surprise, because I immediately asked him to step outside the car, and handcuffed him right away. I knew this guy was wanted, and I felt I’d be a lot safer if he was handcuffed in the back of my patrol car.”

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Once Redd was secured, Jansing, a seven-year veteran with the park service police, opened the Datsun’s trunk and discovered the arsenal.

“It could have gone a lot worse,” the detective said Tuesday. “I’m glad it ended the way it did.”

“Officer Jansing is one of those meticulous officers that very commander wants to have working for him,” said U.S. Park Police Maj. Hugh C. Irwin. “He takes the small case or the suspicious look and he develops it into something worthwhile.

“He’s one of the best guys we got,” said Sgt. James O. Smith, Jansing’s direct supervisor. “He has a propensity for running into case like this, sometimes almost weekly.”

The Redd case was featured on “America’s Most Wanted” on Nov. 11, when the Yorba Linda killing was re-created.

After the killing, the Yorba Linda City Council authorized a $10,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible. The Alpha Beta chain and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union each added another $10,000 to the offer.

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Because Jansing arrested Redd in the course of his duty, he will be unable to accept any reward, according to a Park Police spokesman.

“I wouldn’t take something like that anyway,” Jansing said Tuesday.

Times correspondent Danielle Fouquette contributed to this report.

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