Vehicles stolen from Woodward were taken as part of a multi-state burglary operation, which has preyed on towns throughout Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas for over two years.

A white and gold 2001 Ford F350 pick-up truck, which was stolen from Woodward on April 15 and used along with a stolen trailer to steal ATVs from a local vendor, was recently recovered in Siloam Springs, Ark., said officials with the Woodward Police Department.

Det. Sgt. Billy Parker said the truck was discovered on May 3 at the scene of an attempted burglary along with another stolen truck taken from Grove, OK. He said the trucks had apparently gotten stuck in the mud while the suspects were in the process of trying to steal more equipment so they just left the trucks at the scene.

He said the attempted burglary in Siloam Springs is thought to be just the most recent crime in a string of burglaries that have occurred in several communities throughout the four state region.

Parker said he along with representatives from approximately 15 other law enforcement agencies, which is just a fraction of those affected by the crime string, met Monday in Tulsa to share information about the burglaries in their respective areas. He said that through their coordinated efforts they were able to identify at least five suspects involved with the string of burglaries.

He said video surveillance from some of the crime scenes possibly indicate two additional suspects.

However, he said there are no known suspects from the Woodward area.

But, Parker said he does have photos of the suspects that have been identified. He said he will show those photos to workers at the motels in Woodward, to see if the suspects might have stayed overnight around the time of the burglary.

He said Tulsa investigators will also continue the investigation by interviewing the suspects who believed to be from the Tulsa area.

Parker said that the various agencies are hoping to get the Federal Bureau of Investigation involved as well to help with jurisdiction issues since the string of burglaries covers such a wide area.

While the crime string seems to have started around two years ago, Parker said the frequency of burglaries has recently increased dramatically.

In fact, he said there was a burglary in Grove just a few days before the burglary in Woodward on April 15 and another burglary in Enid a few days afterward. He said they seem to have struck again in Edmond a few days later on April 24.

The burglars’ tactics also seem to be evolving, Parker said, noting that in the older cases only one or two vehicles were stolen, but that number has grown with the more recent cases. He said in the Woodward case, nine ATVs were stolen.

However, Parker said he is not sure why the frequency of burglaries or the amount of vehicles stolen has increased.

“I don’t know if it’s more players or more demand,” he said.

But he is sure that these criminals “know what they’re doing.”

“They’re pretty well organized,” he said.

Parker said he would urge anyone that sees a trailer load of four-wheelers or lawn mowers or other similar implements driving along the highway in the early morning hours, to please contact their local police department, as the burglaries have usually been committed in the early morning hours.

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