The Woodward News

July 18, 2013

School vehicles stolen, one man arrested

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Two white Ford Excursions owned by the Woodward School District were  stolen over the weekend from the Woodward School District Bus Barn, but were later recovered, according to a Woodward Police Department report.

On Sunday, July 14 around noon, a white Ford Excursion with the tag number 436335 was pulled over by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on the Cimarron Turnpike in Pawnee County, said Woodward School Resource Officer Sgt. Jack Brown.

According to Brown, the driver, 25-year-old Joshua Allen Stafford of Mooreland, was stopped by the OHP for speeding. Stafford was also held for suspicion of driving without a valid driver's license as well as allegedly being in possession of a stolen vehicle, Brown said.

While the OHP held Stafford at the Cimarron Turnpike location, they called the Woodward Police Department to verify whether he was supposed to be legally in possession of the Ford Excursion belonging to the Woodward School District, Brown said.

Brown contacted Rosetta Loomis, who supervises Woodward School District vehicles and their care.

She verified that not just one, but two White Ford Excursions were missing from the bus barn and that Joshua Allen Stafford was not an employee of the Woodward School District, according to the Woodward Police department Dispatcher's notes recording the call.

At present, Stafford is being held in the Pawnee County jail and has been charged with driving with a cancelled/susended or revoked license, being in possession of paraphernalia and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to the Pawnee County Inmate Roster, which is posted on line under the website of the Pawnee County Sheriff's Office.

A call to the Pawnee County District Attorney's Office went unreturned Tuesday evening.

According to Brown, after Stafford was arrested by the OHP officers, Woodward Police began searching for the other vehicle. It was discovered parked at Blue Sage Apartments, which are situated near the Woodward School District Bus Barn, Brown said.

Stafford had not been returned to Woodward as of Tuesday, Brown said.

"He is being charged there (Pawnee) for being in possession of a stolen vehicle," Brown said. "We will have to talk to him here about the other Excursion before we will know what the charges will be here."

At present, no date or time has been issued by the Woodward Police Department regarding when Stafford might be returned from Pawnee County for questioning regarding Stafford's possible involvement-if any-in the theft of the other white Ford Excursion, Brown said.

"At this point, we only know that he was in possession of that Excursion he was stopped in by the Highway Patrol," Brown said.