OKLAHOMA CITY – A GPS monitor is shedding light on several burglary cases from Oklahoma and Logan counties.
An iron gate, and a sign with strong, bold words, is what a homeowner uses to protect his property, warning trespassers to stay off or be shot.
He’s extra cautious and lawmen say there’s a reason for that.
A reason that has landed homeowner, Fredrick Warner III, behind a new set of bars.
Chief Deputy Rich Stevens, with the Logan County Sheriff’s Department, said, “He has a criminal history with us in the past and has had several legal problems prior to this.”
Authorities say one of his “problems” is taking things that don’t belong to him.
This time, a GPS monitor on a stolen John Deere skid steer led detectives to his home in the 400 block of Simpson Rd.
That was one of two skid steers recovered by deputies; each is worth about $45,000.
In the report, deputies say once they told him the skid steer was stolen, Warner told them that his buddy had, “dropped it off and he had no idea it was stolen.”
Stevens said, “They appeared to be preparing these skids steers to be parted out or sold. They were peeling stickers off trying to hide the identity of the equipment, so that they wouldn’t be apprehended.”
But that’s not all lawmen found.
He said, “We found several other pieces of property have been recovered that are suspected to be stolen.”
Those items were being stored at an abandoned home across the street.
The list of questionable items includes two ATVs, a motorcycle, four guns, three rifles and lawnmowers, among other things.
One shotgun was reportedly stolen two years ago.
Neighbors who didn’t want to talk on camera say Warner is a nice family man with young children.
During the property search, his reported companion, Miranda Johnson, was also arrested but on an unrelated warrant for drug paraphernalia.
Investigators don’t know what Warner planned to do with the skid steers but say there is a trend involving this type of equipment.
Stevens said, “A lot of these tractors take a direct route south of the border to be used in construction in Mexico. If they make it across the border, no one is ever going to check to see if was stolen in America.”
So far, three victims between Edmond and Oklahoma City have been identified.
NewsChannel 4 spoke to one of the victims of the stolen skid steers.
He didn’t want to talk on camera because he said he doesn’t want crooks to know that his business uses GPS monitors.
He’s concerned they’ll start trying to remove the monitors, making getting the stolen items back nearly impossible.