A small Hinds County town is being terrorized by a young criminal who, according to police, is becoming an accomplished car thief.
Law enforcement in two counties are aiding in the search for Derrick Richardson.
Word is spreading among the roughly 900 Utica residents to be on guard after police said a young teenager with a history of crimes has stolen two cars and broken into at least one.
Utica Police and Hinds County deputies are on the hunt for Derrick Richardson, 18, who lives just outside Utica.
"We are doing everything that we possibly come to apprehend him and take this gentleman into custody," Utica Police Chief Tony Myles said.
The chief said the Hinds County teenager first stole a Hyundai Sonata March 24th from a home on Ferguson Street which was found two hours later in Vicksburg.
According to Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong, when his officers stopped the stolen car, the driver bailed out and ran while Richardson, the passenger, remained inside the vehicle.
Vicksburg investigators found no warrants issued for him, and he was released.
Utica investigators said he is also wanted for a second car theft on March 26th.
On that date, a Chevy S-10 pickup was taken from a residence on Depot Street.
It was recovered hours later in the town on Chapel Hill Road.
Richardson was last spotted in Utica Friday on Southview Street but eluded search teams.
"I called the sheriff's department. We thought we could apprehend him in the woods and we stayed for about maybe two, three hours and we didn't have any luck," Chief Myles said. "So he's still on the run."
Utica Police report that Richardson was arrested in February for stealing a cell phone from a car parked at the post office in Utica.
Richardson was found guilty and fined.
"Keep your doors closed," Chief Myles said. "If you have sightings of him give us a call here at the Utica Police Department."
Investigators believe Richardson may be in Jackson.
If you have any information about this investigation or know where Richardson is located call the Utica Police Department at 601-885-8752.
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