Eufaula man arrested on burglary, firearm charges


A Eufaula man was arrested Thursday afternoon after causing a school lockdown while police searched for him that morning.

Tommy Lee Ranells, 36, was arrested on complaints of possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of second-degree burglary, third-degree burglary, possession of stolen property, and possession of firearm after former felony conviction, according to a news release from Muskogee Police Department. Ranells also is being held on a second-degree burglary warrant out of Creek County.

The arrest followed a half-day search for Ranells after he was allegedly discovered sleeping in a woman's vehicle, said Muskogee Police Department Public Information Officer Lynn Hamlin.

"This morning, a lady goes to start her vehicle and there’s a person in the vehicle. He gets out and he shoots a gun at that point and he takes off running," Hamlin said. "That’s the subject we had K-9 searching for this morning, and they didn’t find him."

The search prompted Muskogee High School to go on lockdown while police searched the area. Ranells initially escaped discovery until later Thursday morning when he allegedly broke into a home on Bona Villa Drive.

"A little while later, there’s a guy with some muddy gray sweatpants, kind of limping, walking down the area of Country Club and Cromwell, which is in the same vicinity, and then we discover a house on Bona Villa Drive has been burglarized," Hamlin said. "He’s charged right now with a warrant out of Creek County, and burglary out of Bona Villa, because the sweatpants he was wearing were stolen from this second house."

Further investigation concluded that Ranells was the same man police were searching for earlier in the morning, Hamlin said, as well as a person who fled from police Wednesday night.

"Officers last night in the area 1800 block of North Country Club, they see a vehicle in an abandoned house, so they go to turn around, and the subject in the vehicle runs and they never catch the person," Hamlin said. "We think that was him."

It was because people called and told police about Ranells' location that police were eventually able to locate him after that initial search, Hamlin said.

"We couldn't do anything until the next person called," Hamlin said. 

Ranells remains in custody at the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility without bond. 

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