Stolen truck leads officers to multiple arrests
OKLAHOMA CITY – A device hidden inside a stolen truck ended up leading Oklahoma City police officers to two different stolen vehicles and multiple arrests.
Saturday morning, a Ford F-250 was stolen from the parking lot of the Sleep Inn near I-40 and Meridian.
Later the same day, a different Ford F-250 was taken from a driveway in Del City.
That truck was equipped with the LoJack system, a stolen vehicle recovery system.
According to their website, it includes a small wireless radio-frequency transceiver that is hidden in a vehicle and will emit a silent, continuous signal if the vehicle is stolen.
Police tracking computers can pick up the signal and find the precise location.
Saturday evening, an OHP plane picked up that signal and led officers to a mobile home near S.E. 89th and Bryant.
The owner of the truck stolen from Sleep Inn was surprised to get the call that very same night that his vehicle had been recovered.
“That was a shock because to be honest, I really didn’t think I’d ever see that truck again,” Joe Bennett said.
“Apparently OHP had received a LoJack signal,” OKC Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said. “They had contacted highway patrol and told them the location of one of the vehicles and ultimately that led to another vehicle. So we were going there looking for one vehicle and ultimately found two.”
“I think the LoJack system is what saved both of our trucks because I don’t think if they wouldn’t have found that, we would’ve never seen that truck,” Bennett said.
Bennett is in town from Georgia working on a construction project.
He’s grateful to have his truck back but said the thieves managed to strip it clean before police found it.
“I feel violated,” he said. “I mean, you’re taking all my personal stuff, information and stuff on me.”
Bennett said he is now going to look into installing the LoJack system on all his company trucks and trailers.
Police arrested 21-year-old Christian Gage for the theft of the two vehicles.
When they searched the mobile home, they ended up finding drugs and arrested seven other people inside the home at the time.