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MOUNT PLEASANT — A reported retail theft from a Mount Pleasant grocery store – by a man in a wheelchair – eventually led to a traffic stop and a misdemeanor criminal charge filed in Racine County Circuit Court.

Ricky Gaddis, 62, of Milwaukee, who has a long criminal history, faces one count of retail theft that could lead to a nine-month jail term and a $10,000 fine if he’s convicted.

Gaddis is free from custody on a $500 signature bond.

According to the criminal complaint: retail theft at Piggly Wiggly

Mount Pleasant police were dispatched to Piggly Wiggly, 5201 Washington Ave., on Aug. 29, for a report of a retail theft in progress.

Police located the suspect’s vehicle as it weaved in and out of traffic. Inside the vehicle was the defendant’s son, and the defendant stated his son had stayed inside the vehicle and was unaware of what he was doing inside the store.

Officers located a crack pipe on the floor and a backpack in the trunk that contained syringes and drug paraphernalia that allegedly belonged to Gaddis.

Police spoke with a loss prevention officer from the store, who advised he had witnessed Gaddis concealing items in a specially-made pouch that was affixed to the back of his wheelchair. The employee followed Gaddis and confronted him, but he fled in his wheelchair, into the vehicle and left the scene.

Inside the pouch were several alcohol bottles, meat, fish, Tide pods and other items with a total value of $482.62.

Criminal court records show nine previous convictions that date back to 1979, when Gaddis was convicted of felony receiving/concealing stolen property in Milwaukee County, followed by a 1990 conviction for robbery with a threat of force, also in Milwaukee County. Has also has three previous retail theft convictions and a felony burglary conviction, also in Milwaukee County, in 1995.

Gaddis has been incarcerated nine times, according to records, which also indicate he escaped custody on three different occasions.

Gaddis will be back in Racine County Circuit Court on Nov. 28, for an 8:30 a.m. status conference.

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