MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

September 18, 2013

Tahlequah teens arrested in string of burglaries

By Josh Newton
CNHI

— TAHLEQUAH — Two local teenagers face charges after a string of car burglaries near Jones and Rice roads north of Tahlequah.

Cherokee County Sheriff Norman Fisher said deputies took a series of reports from the area — particularly near Meghan Estates — when property began to disappear from cars overnight in August.

Sheriff’s Investigator James Brown worked the case. According to Brown, residents of the area noticed the suspects getting into a car one night and chased them. A 15-year-old girl was stopped, but the second suspect — a boy of the same age — escaped.

Brown later contacted the boy, along with a family member, to set up an interview.

During that interview with investigators, the boy claimed to be a member of a gang and admitted he had participated in six car burglaries. He also turned over a basket full of the property he had stolen, and drew a map indicating where a couple of the burglaries had taken place.

Last week, a large bag of jewelry found during a separate incident was identified as belonging to one victim of the car burglaries. That victim, a business owner from Green Bay, Wis., told investigators she was visiting Tahlequah when the jewelry was stolen from her van.

The bag was discovered by Cherokee Nation marshals after the two suspects and other juveniles were stopped in a stolen car. Brown said the bag was found near the vehicle, and marshals placed it into storage after the incident.

“James did a super job by picking up and following the reports of car break-ins,” said Fisher. “I’m proud of the work everyone has done by working together to solve these burglaries.”

Brown said the teen suspects have been tied to six confirmed car burglaries. He is asking any other potential victims to call him at (918) 456-2583.

The teens are facing six counts of burglary and knowingly concealing stolen property. Brown’s report has been submitted to the District Attorney’s Office.

Josh Newton writes for the Tahlequah Daily Press.