The Cornavirus closedown of businesses has led to a rash of break-ins and burglaries this week.
The Lawton Police Department has opened up a task force to investigate these crimes and stop other potential incidents, according to Sgt. Tim Jenkins, LPD information officer.
Travis Fogelstrom, owner of the Mountain Boomer Tavern, 1320 NW Homestead Drive, said his establishment was hit by three individuals early Tuesday morning.
“This happened at 6:44 a.m,” Fogelstrom said. “So they hit right after curfew (lifted). I assume they are just looking for quick cash in the early hours between the curfew ending and daylight because they came in and went straight for the register; ignored the booze, TVs, all that.”
“If you are a small business that is closed, be watching,” he added.
An object was used to throw through the business’ front window and the three suspects are seen inside the bar and went to the cash register where they took a barren drawer, Fogelstrom said — “The one time I closed my register drawer.”
Fogelstrom said he hasn’t had a chance to thoroughly inspect the damage.
Despite remaining shut down with a positive attitude, Fogelstrom said it still hurts. After being closed for two weeks, he has trouble understanding why someone would break in believing there would be cash inside.
In another apparently connected incident, someone first threw a concrete rock through the window at CITI Trends, 4415 Cache Road, around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. Police reported arriving and found the rock inside but didn’t find that anything appeared to be stolen.
Similar incidents have also been reported at Back Porch Drafthouse West, 5370 Cache Road, and at Jimmy’s Egg, 948 NW 38th. Although the outer window was broken at Jimmy’s Egg, the suspect(s) were unable to break through the second layer of the double-paned glass.
Investigators have reason to believe the same suspects are involved in these break-ins.
Another incident appears to be separate from the others. It ended with an arrest.
At around 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, Lawton Police Sgt. Kenneth Dixon reported responding to New York Fashions, 2126 W. Gore, regarding a window broken during a possible burglary attempt. Someone had used a rock to break the front store window.
The owner arrived and Dixon noted that on the store’s surveillance video, a black male was seen throwing the rock at the window twice before it broke. It is unclear if anything was stolen.
Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, other officers found a man matching the suspect description in the parking lot of West Cache Discount Liquor, 6321 Cache Road. He was yelling and appeared to be highly intoxicated, the report states. They made contact with the man.
After obtaining a photo from the prior burglary security video, it clearly identified as the man in their custody, according to the report. A rock in his possession matched the rocks found at New York Fashion. He was arrested for burglary.
If you have information about any of these or other crimes, call Lawton Police or Crime Stoppers, 580-355-4636.
Written by Scott Rains: firstname.lastname@example.org.