A 41-year-old Davenport man is behind bars after police say he and a co-defendant planned to steal catalytic converters from nine River Bend Transit buses last year.
Steven Richards Jr. faces two felony charges of third-degree burglary along with felony charges of second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree theft, and misdemeanor charges of drug paraphernalia, second-degree possession, and criminal trespass with injury.
On Feb. 22 and 23, 2020, police say Richards and a co-defendant conspired to break into River Bend Transit, 7440 Vine Street Court, Davenport, to cut off and steal catalytic converters from buses there.
Richards and the co-defendant exchanged digital messages through Facebook beginning Feb. 22 at 11:24 p.m. Richards’ phone showed multiple searches for “river bend transportation” and “river bend transit.”
He sent another message to the co-defendant two minutes later after searching for “business hours of river bend transportation,” saying “and it’s closed tomorrow so no one will be coming in …that’s where I think we should go.”
Just after midnight Feb. 23, 2020, Richards and the co-defendant called each other several times and sent messages.
Just 34 minutes before the burglary, Richards searched “how to tell the difference between years on Ford F 250 and F 350.”
The buses at River Bend are built on Ford transit chassis, officers note in the affidavit.
At 3:15 a.m., Richards and the co-defendant cut through the chain-link fence on the west side of the parking lot at River Bend, then cut off the catalytic converters from nine buses, the affidavit says.
Total loss of the theft and repairs was $5,980.
Video surveillance shows the suspects arrive at River Bend at 3:14 a.m. and leave at 4:17 a.m. Richards’ phone logged outgoing usage/data before and after the burglary but logged no usage from 3:01 a.m. to 4:18 a.m.
Richards’ Google Maps timeline indicated his approximate location was 1221 W. 76th St., less than half a mile from River Bend between 3:15 and 4:18 a.m. – the exact time of the burglary.
Google Maps indicated he was at the approximate location of the 1900 block of 16th Street, Silvis – where the co-defendant lives – between 5:18 a.m. and 8:23 a.m. Feb. 23, 2020.
Further proceedings for Richards, held Monday on a total $17,000 bond in Scott County Jail, are set for Wednesday and June 24 in Scott County Court.