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For Immediate Release

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January 23, 2014 Seth Bruce, Deputy U.S. Marshal - Memphis, TN (901) 573-8177
U.S. Marshals Task Force Apprehend Accused Police Car Thief After Twelve Day Chase

Covington, TN - Stephen Melton had been running for twelve days, sleeping outside in subzero temperatures and avoiding large scale manhunts and helicopters. He was finally arrested tonight by the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force (GCRFTF), working with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

Bedding and clothing believed to belong to MeltonMelton allegedly stole a police car from the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office after being arrested on January 14, 2014. Melton was also wanted for escape, promotion of methamphetamine, and weapons charges. He was also on TBI’s top ten list. While searching a wooded area this afternoon for the fugitive, a bundle of supplies was found in a thicket near where Melton was believed to be hiding. It contained extra clothing and bedding that the fugitive would need to continue to live in depopulated areas and avoid law enforcement. Believing it belonged to Melton, the supplies were seized.

Inferring that the fugitive would not brave the frigid temperatures without staying the night indoors, the Task Force continued to investigate in the area as the sun went down. Information was developed that he had taken shelter in a house on Melrose in Covington. Melton was located at that house and taken into custody. He had shaved his beard and colored his hair as part of his efforts to escape justice.

At the time of this press release he is in the custody of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office.

The U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force is a multi-agency task force with divisions in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The Western Tennessee Division of the GCRFTF has offices in Memphis and Jackson, and its membership is primarily composed of Deputy U.S. Marshals, Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies, Memphis Police Officers, Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies, Jackson Police Officers, and the Tennessee Department of Corrections Special Agents. The primary mission of the Task Force is to arrest violent offenders and sexual predators.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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