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Burglars leave evidence behind after allegedly ripping off vending machines


GUTHRIE, Okla. — Two suspected traveling thieves are behind bars tonight, after the duo allegedly went on multiple vending machine heists in Guthrie. Police say they got pretty lucky in this case, it seems as though the thieves left a trail behind.

Robert Stratton and Karl Frederickson were caught on surveillance Friday at a Guthrie Best Western. Police say they were on their way to break into some of the hotel’s vending machines.

They didn’t stop at the Best Western. Management at a nearby apartment complex says many of their machines are now out of order after the two men allegedly picked their locks too.

Along with this still image from surveillance, police say what they found in their motel room down the street was especially incriminating.

Lt. Mark Bruning with Guthrie Police says they found, “Items from vending machines, along with other tools and also some meth and other paraphernalia.”

Later Friday evening, officers found Stratton and Frederikson in the area of Triplett and Division with those same items. This time, they were on bicycles and looking suspicious.

Both men told officers they were just riding around for fun, but police say it looked like they were looking for somewhere else to break into.

The two are from Kansas and Stratton had been arrested in the state just 10 days ago on larceny charges.

“I’m sure they’re just going up and down the interstate,” says Bruning. “Finding their money for the motel rooms and for drugs.”

Management at their motel said the two men traveled through Guthrie on the Logan County trolley, but with only bicycles to their names police have no idea how they got from Kansas to Oklahoma.

“We don’t know why they’re here, how they got here, they were on bicycles,” says Bruning. “We don’t believe they have a vehicle, so we aren’t sure if they got a ride or hitched a ride.”

Police also think the two men committed these crimes to survive.

Bruning says, “Breaking into vending machines you’re not going to get a fortune but I’m assuming you can get enough to get a motel room and some drugs.”

Both men are facing felony burglary charges as well as distribution and possession of methamphetamine, paraphernalia, stolen property, burglary implements and conspiracy to commit a felony.