Police capture man accused of stealing from family before St. Jude marathon

By: Scott Madaus

Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The man police said broke into a former St. Jude family's car, woke up behind bars Tuesday morning.

RELATED: St Jude helps former patient's family who was robbed before the marathon

The suspect was wanted for theft from motor vehicle and outstanding warrants.

William Canada, 34, is 5'8" and 220 lbs.

Police said the incident took place in Wanger Place and Vance Avenue on November 30th.

The family was eating dinner at Gus's Fried Chicken when thieves smashed the car windows and stole all their luggage, according to police.

MPD said the suspects got away with luggage, cash, cosmetics, even custom made T-shirts.

It was one of the first times the family was back in town since their 4-year-old daughter passed away at St. Jude in August.

What hurts the family most was one of the cameras that were stolen had pictures of the daughter, Austyn, that were not saved anywhere else.

A non-profit in Cordova, the Goddard Foundation, has offered up to $1,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of recovery of luggage and camera.

This is not Canada's first run-in with the law. 

The criminal past for the suspect started back in 2001 when he was charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated assault. Then in March of 2002, Canada was charged with 2 felony counts of theft of property. 

In October of 2002, he was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, and in November of that same year, Canada was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, theft of property, and evading arrest.

After a slew of theft charges in February of 2008, we discovered Canada was charged with 2 counts of aggravated assault.

In October of 2009, he was charged with assault-bodily harm. 

In November of 2012, Canada was charged with 2 counts of burglary of a motor vehicle. 

In April of this year, Canada admitted to breaking into a vehicle in a hotel parking lot off Union Avenue. The vehicle belonged to yet another family of a St Jude patient.

In September, Canada was indicted on a burglary of a motor vehicle charge. He got a suspended 2 year sentence, finally receiving 10 years probation.

FOX13 discovered Canada may have been involved in a carjacking just days before the marathon.

The incident happened November 27th at Elvis Presley and Springbrook. A man said the suspect came up to the car, jumped through the driver side window and told him to drive off.

When he did, the suspect pushed the victim out while the car was rolling.


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