Murder Suspect Arrested After a Traffic Stop : Crime: Former L.A. County deputy, who said he would never be taken alive, is caught in San Francisco.
A former Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy who is wanted in a Yorba Linda murder and a string of robberies and who had vowed that he would never be taken alive was in custody Tuesday after a routine traffic stop near a San Francisco marina.
Stephen Moreland Redd, 49, was featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted,” and has been a fugitive since August.
He was arrested Monday night after a park detective saw an altered registration tag on his parked car and Redd offered false identification, authorities said.
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 Officer Robert Jansing of the U.S. Park Police, who arrested Redd. “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, who patrol Yorba Linda, flew to San Francisco on Tuesday to arrange Redd’s return to Orange County.
Redd is being held without bail at the San Francisco Police Department’s jail and will probably be extradited to Orange County within a week after a court hearing, 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.
A decade later, Redd was arrested for bank robbery and wounding a police officer in La Habra, for which he served 11 years in state prison.
On July 18, 1994, Redd held up a cashier at an Alpha Beta store in the Tall Mouse Shopping Center in Yorba Linda, police say. Timothy Eugene McVeigh, the store’s 34-year-old night manager, was shot once in the chest when he interrupted the robbery. McVeigh died later that night at a nearby hospital.
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 “Redd has told relatives he ‘will not be taken alive.’ ”
There was no sign of Redd until Monday night, when Jansing was patrolling the Gas House Cove Marina in downtown San Francisco just before 5 p.m.
Jansing, 34, said he noticed something wrong with Redd’s license plate.
A registration tag in the corner of the plate that indicates the expiration date “looked like it didn’t belong,” Jansing said.
He 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.”
Jansing returned to Redd and 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,” Jansing said.
Once Redd was handcuffed, Jansing opened the car’s trunk and found the arsenal. “It could have gone a lot worse,” Jansing said Tuesday.
Times correspondent Danielle Fouquette contributed to this report.
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