CHICKASHA, Okla. - Nathan Hunt walked out of his Chickasha home last week to find his truck missing from his driveway.
“I’m assuming somebody stole it, but I don’t really know,” Hunt said.
A day after reporting the truck stolen, it was found abandoned along a road near Shawnee.
“They said that it was crashed on the front from running into a ditch and my tailgate was spray painted. I had a company logo, and they covered it,” Hunt said.
Police didn't have a suspect until they heard from a probation officer in Chickasha.
“We got a call from a probation officer here in town with Grady County that one of their offenders had actually admitted to stealing the vehicle,” said Det. Lauren Mathews with the Chickasha Police Department.
According to court documents, Daniel Wharton “admitted to taking the truck and driving it to Oklahoma City to try to get rid of it. Wharton said that it was hard to find someone to buy it, so he tried getting back to Chickasha. Wharton said he was under the influence of methamphetamines and pills. Due to his level of impairment, he ended up in Shawnee, Oklahoma and was unsure of how.”
And, sure enough, Wharton’s GPS ankle monitor showed him in the driveway of the home, then Oklahoma City and then Shawnee.
“It not only tracked his movements, but it correlated everything with the story and it corroborated the story,” Mathews said.
“I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know what would possess a fella to do that. You’d think, if you’re already in trouble, you don’t want to get in more trouble,” Hunt said.
For police, it’s an open and shut case that could possibly solve others.
“Thankfully, we were able to get him off the streets, get the vehicle recovered and then also potentially solve other auto burglaries, because he confessed to multiple other burglaries,” Mathews said.
Police said Wharton confessed to stealing items from 15 to 20 other vehicles.
“I guess I had a tracker on my truck the whole time and just didn’t know it,” Hunt said.
Hunt hopes Wharton stays behind bars this time, since the ankle monitor is obviously not deterring him from committing more crimes.
“Apparently not, apparently not. Hope he don’t come back to my neighborhood,” Hunt said.