MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis police say a man stole over $8,000 in football gear from Central High School and tried to sell it a month later at the Kroc Center.
In late December, Central High’s head football coach reported a burglary at the school on Bellevue Avenue. Coach William Wright told police someone broke into the locker room on the southeast side of the school and took around $8,500 worth of items.
Among the items were 19 shoulder pads, 20 helmets, a sports scope video camera, and a monitor.
Investigators said they developed Ke’Von Henderson, 21, as a suspect after someone spotted him selling the stolen football equipment outside the Kroc Center on East Parkway South.
He was showing them to people out of his trunk like a guy in a movie on a New York City street corner selling hot watches out of a trench coat,” said Michael Working.
Working, a Memphis attorney and Central High football supporter, knew about the break-in at Central and had even seen surveillance video of the crime.
He said he confronted Henderson about selling the stolen football equipment and even took a picture of him.
“He said I don’t know anything about that. I said that’s funny because that’s the exact same silver Sedan that was parked in front of the locker room where the dude was loading all the equipment in the car, and the guy looked exactly like you on the video,” said Working. “He just ran.”
Working called police and Coach Wright. He said Wright was able to get a look at one of the helmets Henderson sold to someone and identified it as one of the Central helmets.
“There was a number inside,” said Working.
Working was able to track down Henderson and asked him to give back the stolen gear, but he never responded.
“He chose the hard way,” said Working.
Court records show Henderson was indicted for theft of merchandise and making a false report in 2020.
Police said Henderson and two women stole $1,500 in clothing from City Gear on South Third.
Henderson was an employee at City Gear and told officers he tried to stop the women who ran out of the store with the clothes.
Detectives said video footage from the store, though, showed Henderson was waiting for the women to arrive and told them where to park.
Henderson has a court date for that case later this month.
He is facing new charges of burglary of a building. Henderson is being held on a $10,000 bond.
Working said none of the stolen football equipment was ever recovered. He has set up a GoFundMe to help replace the stolen gear.