On January 9, 2018, at around 5:50 p.m., officers from the Redding Police Department Neighborhood Police Unit were conducting foot patrols and contacting business owners in the area of the downtown promenade. During this patrol check, a suspicious male was observed shining a flashlight through the windows of closed businesses. This suspicious male was later identified as Wade Michael Smith, 19 years, of Redding. Smith admitted to being a daily methamphetamine user and said he trades stolen property for food and drugs. Smith was found in possession of drug paraphernalia.

During the investigation, Smith disclosed his methods of attempting to burglarize vehicles in the downtown area. Smith claimed to have made efforts to get into at least one vehicle every day over the past year. Smith directed officers to the downtown parking garage and confessed to attempting to force his way into a locked vehicle. This vehicle was found to be damaged during Smith’s attempt. Smith said he had stolen from at least five separate vehicles in the parking garage over the past month.

When asked how he chooses cars to steal from, Smith said he usually targets unlocked vehicles and those that have valuable items left out in plain view. Smith was booked into the Shasta County Jail for possession of drug paraphernalia, prowling, and attempted vehicle burglary.

The Neighborhood Police Unit would like to remind everyone to be diligent in removing valuable items from your parked vehicles and ensuring that they are locked. A photograph of Smith is attached to this press release.