Search for Stephen Melton suspended in Tipton County - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Search for 'armed and dangerous' man suspended in Tipton Co.

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The search in Tipton County for Stephen Melton, one of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's top 10 most wanted criminals, has been suspended for the time being. The search in Tipton County for Stephen Melton, one of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's top 10 most wanted criminals, has been suspended for the time being.
According to Lauderdale County Sheriff Steve Sanders, Melton is "anti-government and anti-police." According to Lauderdale County Sheriff Steve Sanders, Melton is "anti-government and anti-police."
United States Marshals, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and sheriff's deputies from Lauderdale and Tipton counties are currently in Tipton County searching just south of Covington after they received a lead on Milton's cell phone on Wednesday. United States Marshals, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and sheriff's deputies from Lauderdale and Tipton counties are currently in Tipton County searching just south of Covington after they received a lead on Milton's cell phone on Wednesday.
TIPTON COUNTY, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The search in Tipton County for Stephen Melton, one of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's top 10 most wanted criminals, has been suspended for the time being.

Tipton and Lauderdale County officials are still asking residents to keep an eye out for Melton, but since he is considered "armed and dangerous," they need to stay safe while doing so.

Tennessee Highway Patrol's air unit spent hours Wednesday flying above Highway 51 and Melrose Road searching for the man accused of stealing a deputy's patrol car.

"I hope they find him. It's pretty scary," said resident Erin Wallace.

U.S. Marshal's, TBI, and the Tipton and Lauderdale County sheriff's departments walked the railroad tracks and the woods looking for him.

"I want all the citizens of Tipton County to know that if they see him, call 911. He's supposed to be armed and dangerous. He's listed that way on the most wanted list. Do not approach him, call authorities and we'll be there," said Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley.

On January 11, Melton was arrested at his home in Lauderdale County. As deputies searched his house, he sat outside in the deputy's SUV. That's when deputies say he kicked an 11-inch hole through the Plexiglass and stole the car.

Later that day, the SUV was found, but Melton is still on the run.

After getting tipped off to his location, the search for Melton also put Dyersburg State Community College's Covington campus on a preventative lockdown as police searched the surrounding area.

"We just got an alert over email that we were going to be on lockdown," Wallace said.

"We just spent four hours in the classroom. We couldn't go to the restroom for about an hour; we were in there a while," added DSCC student Natalie Yarbro.

Even though Melton was never spotted on campus, DSCC officials say safety is the top priority.

"Keep everybody in class and the buildings locked down and work with law enforcement," said Dr. Jamie Frakes, DSCC.

DSCC decided to let students leave around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday. Security and employees escorted many of the students to their cars.

"Yeah, it's scary," added Yarbro. "Especially because I have kids that go to Brighton. It was really scary."

Stephen Melton's mom lives on Anthony Street in Covington, located behind the DSCC campus.

No one at the house answered the door when Action News 5's Justin Hanson knocked, but neighbors said they have seen police there several times in the past week.

"I hope they catch him and from what I've heard, he could be close to our homes and I hope everybody's safe and they put him where he needs to be," said Yarbro.

Many students on the DSCC campus say they thought Wednesday's lockdown was just a drill, but they say they would rather be safe than sorry.

If you see Stephen Melton in the area, you are urged to call 911. He is considered armed and dangerous.

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