MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 10, 2013

Charges filed in rebar theft

By Josh Newton
CNHI

— TAHLEQUAH — A Cherokee County man who was arrested Sunday after fleeing authorities is facing charges on a previous arrest for concealing stolen property.

Richard Bradley Ryals, 24, was jailed Sunday after he allegedly fled from authorities, who were looking for him in connection with a series of county burglaries.

Prosecutors formally filed charges against Ryals on Tuesday for his arrest on March 16 by Tahlequah police.

According to Tahlequah Officer Luke Hixon’s probable cause affidavit, Ryals was caught trespassing in the 600 block of Coy Street, where he and his wife had previously been evicted. Ryals told police he was there to get his property.

Hixon said that as he spoke to Ryals, he noticed several sticks of rebar in the back of Ryals’ truck. Ryals told the officer he got the rebar across the street, where several new apartments were being constructed. Ryals told Hixon he had permission to take the rebar, but he was unable to tell the officer who granted him permission.

Officers later contacted Bradley Tullis, the contractor who was working at the construction site, and confirmed that Ryals did not have permission to take rebar.

Ryals allegedly admitted, at that point, that he did not have permission and he had stolen it because he was having “hard times” and couldn’t find a job.

Witnesses later told police Ryals was seen taking rebar from the construction, and he and another person were seen loading copper plumbing and wire into Ryals’ truck about two weeks earlier.

During an inventory of Ryals’ truck in March, officers said they found a smoking pipe in the driver’s side door handle, and a silver smoking pipe on the floorboard of the passenger’s side.

Several packs of rolling papers were found inside, along with a pair of tweezers – a so-called “roach clip” – that officers said appeared to have marijuana residue on them.

Ryals allegedly told police after his arrest in March that he was “glad” he was going to jail.

Josh Newton writes for the Tahlequah Daily Press.