Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Richard Ford

Real Name: Richard Warner Ford
Aliases: No Known Aliases
Wanted For: Burglary, Theft
Missing Since: September 7, 1994


Details: At around 11PM on the night of August 6, 1994, an intruder entered a San Jose business which was outfitted with state-of-the-art technology. The burglar's M.O. was as simple as it was bold. First, he would inventory the most valuable computers, printers, and scanners. Then, he would contact his network of black market dealers. Once he had buyers lined up, he would return and steal only the equipment that he could sale; it was basically a pre-raid surveillance in which he would go out to see what was available.
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 Richard 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 on September 7, 1994. At around the same time, Ford's accomplice, Matthew Crome, also disappeared. Crome allegedly was Ford's lookout during his burglaries.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the April 28, 1995 episode, which highlighted Jim McMahon and the computer crime unit of the San Jose Police Department. 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 arrested within an hour. 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 fifteen counts of burglary. He faced up to seven years in prison.