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Serial cigarette snatchers busted; store owner said he knew they were coming

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LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. - Two serial burglars are in jail after Logan County Sheriff's Deputies caught them in the act.

Investigators said they believe Joshua Mcintire and David Coleman could be responsible for nearly two dozen burglaries in Logan and Oklahoma counties.

Surveillance video taken outside Petty's Pit Stop in Logan Co. caught two men breaking into the store.

One whips out a trash bag and investigators said they believe the plan was to fill it with cigarettes.

Store owner Marvin Petty explained what they did once inside.

"They start ripping open the cabinet doors where I used to keep my cigarettes," Petty said. "Guess what? There's nothing there guys."

In just less than two minutes, they searched for the cigarettes with no luck and bolted.

All the while, the smokes were locked in a safe.

Petty said he prepared for this moment, "I knew they was coming."

He'd seen the pictures of two men breaking into gas station after gas station.

Their tactic was always the same; they'd twist the locks off the doors and go in with a trash can or trash bag.

Then the suspects would sweep the cigarettes inside and run.

But they left Petty's store empty-handed.

"They basically got caught by my video for nothing," Petty said.

Since November deputies were always one step behind the burglars.

"It always feels bad for us when we're one step behind," Chief Deputy Richard Stephens said. "We go to one burglary and find out that while we were at the burglary, they were doing another one."

So when they arrived to Petty's Pit Stop, crews split up and spread out across town.

They found two men, matching the descriptions of the suspects, sitting in the parking lot of Lakeview Grocery, Mcintire and Coleman.

They were wearing the same clothes the suspects wore in Petty's video.

Officials said the pair had lock picking tools in the car.

"Oh I was so happy," Petty said.

So were Deputies.

"That's an excellent catch for these guys," Stephens said. "They've been really working hard to catch these guys."

In two months, investigators said they believe the burglars hit three convenience stores in Logan County, five in Guthrie and 10 in Oklahoma City.

Looking back, Petty said if anyone is thinking of breaking into his safe, they better be able to do it in less than a minute.

Because in that time, he can be there.

"They may or may not be breathing when police get here but they're not leaving," Petty said.

The men face several charges including burglary, possession of burglary implements, conspiracy to commit a felony and possession of an offensive weapon.