Crook leaves trail to almost $1,500 in stolen appliances

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Police say almost $1,500 worth of appliances were stolen from a woman's Raleigh home a day before Thanksgiving.

The thief reportedly used a dolly to haul the stolen items, which left a trail in the leaves leading detectives straight to his backyard.

Carla Ransom said she came home from work Wednesday evening to find one of her back windows smashed in and her appliances missing.

"I was like, who steals washing machines and dryers?" Ransom said.

"They stole the washing machine and dryer, they stole the deep freezer with the food in it. They went in my garage and stole my grill."

Ransom said her one-year-old grandson's brand-new toy was also taken.

The burglar left quite a mess in Ransom's backyard, spilling out food from her freezer -- apparently in a bid to make room for more stolen goods.

"All my washing powder, most of it, they had stuck inside the deep freezer," she said.

Police returned all of the stolen items to Ransom after finding them in Curtis Buford's backyard two houses down. They say they followed a trail left by a dolley.

"He's known for stealing people's stuff, but I never thought he would do that to somebody who lives right next door to us," said Ransom's neighbor Deandre Anderson.

The woman who answered Buford's door Thursday said, "I don't know," when asked if the appliances were stolen.

Buford reportedly told police that he collects scrap metal and found the appliances out on the street. Ransom said all of the appliances were in her house.

She said it's the third time her house has been broken into in as many years and she's determined to make it the final one.

"I'm fixing to pack up and move," she said.

Buford is charged with aggravated burglary and theft.

Court records indicate he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for robbery in 2003. It's unclear why he didn't serve the full sentence.