Lawmen use GPS to track down suspected thief

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EL RENO, Okla.-- It's an unusual way some lawmen are tracking down suspected criminals.

Authorities say GPS devices make it easier on them to find suspects and harder on those suspects to get away.

Deputies in two different counties say they have a serial offender on their hands.

When they suspected this alleged thief was making the rounds again, they put a GPS locator on his truck.

They say that device confirmed their suspicions.

Cortnie Cain, Grady County Assistant District Attorney, said, "This is one of the first GPS tracking device cases that I've had."

Officials arrested Mark Dale Bass Jr. after they say he stole hundreds of barrels of crude oil and then sold the stolen items for profit.

Last October, the Canadian County Sheriff's Department arrested and charged Bass for the same crime.

Cain said, "The Canadian County Sheriff's Department was aware and had probable cause to believe that he was committing these crimes. Based on that, they applied for a warrant in which one of their district judges signed off on and put a GPS locator on his semi-truck."

That allowed investigators to track Bass into another county, where they claim he stole about 300 barrels of oil from three different locations in Grady County alone.

Cain said, "He was actually going into different leases. There was one instance where he cut the lock to gain entry. He was driving his own truck and then stealing the crude oil from that location."

Officials suspect Bass was working in the early morning hours but say they recovered other evidence that the GPS didn't detect.

She said, "Tire track evidence, boot print evidence, things of that nature."

Bass was arrested and faces numerous charges in more than one county.

We're told he is now out on bond.

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