Real Name: Matthew Charles Crome
Aliases: No Known Aliases
Wanted For: Burglary, Theft
Missing Since: September 1994
Details: Nineteen-year-old Matthew Crome is an accomplice of prolific burglar Richard Ford. On August 6, 1994, at around 11PM, an intruder entered a San Jose business which was outfitted with state-of-the-art technology. The burglar first inventoried the most valuable computers, printers, and scanners, and contact his network of black market dealers. Once he had buyers lined up, he would return and only steal the equipment that he could sale; it was basically a pre-raid surveillance. As the burglar emerged from the office building, he could have left without notice had it not been for him tripping a silent alarm. The man was arrested and identified as Ford, a key figure in a theft ring that had stolen over $1 million in computers and other technology. Ford had committed and helped mastermind over one hundred computer-related thefts and burglaries throughout the Silicon Valley.
Ford agreed to cooperate with authorities and showed them the various black market message boards where stolen computer equipment was sold. Over a four week period, Ford helped police break up elicit operations from around the country. He was a dependable source of information, until he vanished later in 1994. At around the same time, Crome also disappeared. Crome allegedly was Ford's lookout during his burglaries.
Extra Notes: The original airdate of this case is April 28, 1995; the segment featured the computer crime unit of the San Jose Police Deparmtent. The update of this case aired on February 9, 1996.
Results: Captured. On the night of the broadcast, viewers in Salt Lake City, Utah recognized Ford and Crome as neighbors in their apartment complex; both men were soon arrested. When authorities searched the fugitives' apartment, they found large amounts of stolen computer equipment, worth around $1 million.
Crome pleaded guilty to a single burglary charge and was sentenced to one year in jail. In October 1995, Ford was returned to San Jose, charged with thirteen counts of burglary.
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