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Police Chief: burglary suspect tracked down, literally

During a Monday, May 15 chat session, Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King said an AirTag device helped officers track down a man who stole a purse from a vehicle.

There were about 900 total contacts last month for officers and King said there were six burglaries and 31 thefts that were reported for the month.

“We had a string of car burglaries late in the month and my patrol unit was one that was hit, along with my personal vehicles at my home,” King said.

A person who is possibly responsible for the crimes stole a purse out of a vehicle nearby. The purse contained an AirTag, which officers used to track him down and take him into custody.

King said they recovered other stolen property from the man and asked that if anyone, who had a firearm stolen from their vehicle, to contact the police department.

In other business, King said four officers completed field training and they’re doing phenomenal on the streets.

“[They’ve all] recently completed field training, they’re assigned to their permanent shifts now, and [they] are just fitting in phenomenally,” he said.

Sgt. Elden Graves was promoted to lieutenant, School Resource Officer Todd Carnes was promoted to sergeant and will report to night shift once school is out for the summer, and Officer Mitchell Sellers was promoted to sergeant.

King said Lt. Justin Leatherwood was driving around on his day off a few weeks ago when drove past what appeared to be a domestic incident.

“He got out in plain clothes to intercede in that while officers were on their way. In the meantime, the subject he was trying to stop the assault ended up pulling a knife on him and came at him with a knife,” King said.

The suspect was taken to the ground during a struggle and his dog bit Leatherwood’s hand.


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