Mark Stodghill, Forum Communications, Published November 05 2012
UPS employee accused of stealing from packages
Morgan Timothy Sudduth, 22, was arraigned Monday in State District Court and charged with six felonies: three counts of mail theft, two counts of theft of a computer and one of receiving stolen property.
According to the criminal complaint, the only concern Sudduth expressed during his interview with police was his ongoing drug use and his need to get out of custody in order to locate more heroin and marijuana.
Phone calls to UPS in Duluth and Salt Lake City were unable to confirm Sudduth’s employment status Monday evening.
The court set bail at $10,000, but referred him to a probation officer to consider supervised release. He was granted supervised release. His next scheduled court hearing is on Nov. 28.
A UPS internal investigation revealed that there had been a number of packages tampered with and thefts of flat screen televisions and prescription medications.
Duluth police investigators were notified in August that thefts had been occurring at the UPS Center located at 111 Port Terminal Drive.
On Oct. 25, boxes of DVDs had been tampered with and packages stolen. The boxes were found in an area where Sudduth worked.
Shoe tread marks were found in an area where no employee should have been and packages were located there. Police said the shoe prints were consistent with tread patterns found on shoes in the defendant’s vehicle.
A police investigator ran Sudduth’s name in an automated pawn system and learned that he had been highly active in pawning various items at Pawn America and Lincoln Park Pawn. Hundreds of DVDs were pawned on Oct. 23-24.
The investigator was able to link the pawned items to UPS claim reports. The stolen items included a laptop computer, two Kindles and the DVDs.
Officers conducted a search warrant at Sudduth’s residence. The complaint alleges that Sudduth initially denied stealing or pawning items and said that his driver’s license had been stolen by a co-worker, suggesting the co-worker could have used it as identification.
Sudduth told officers he had a heroin habit but said he hadn’t been using the drug recently.
During the interview, a UPS employee informed the investigator that Sudduth was captured on video at the UPS facility opening a package containing the laptop, wrapping the laptop in a sweatshirt and leaving the facility with the laptop.
Officers executed an amended search warrant of Sudduth’s vehicle and located a video packing slip, Pawn America pawn slips in his name, four DVDs in a Pawn America bag, packaging materials, a Vizio laptop with a tracking number, a baggie containing materials consistent with marijuana and UPS packaging material.
Police obtained video from one of the pawn shops showing Sudduth pawning items, contrary to his suggestion that someone else had been pawning them while using his driver’s license for identification.