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Cleveland County Sheriff responds to rash of rural crimes near Slaughterville

CLEVELAND CO., Okla. – In a three-week time period, residents in southern Cleveland County experienced six burglaries, five larcenies and three auto thefts, now the sheriff’s office is taking action to stop the tide.

“We received numerous theft reports in the Slaughterville area along Highway 77,” said Chief Deputy Jose Chavez who serves as operations commander for the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). “To combat that, we initiated DDACTS — Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety.”

In this case, the CCSO started saturated patrols in the area where the crimes were taking place.

“It started the latter part of March, but fully went into effect April 1,” Chavez said.

On Sunday, March 31, Deputy J. Lacy and Reserve Deputy Graham responded to a Dollar General on a larceny call. After reviewing video of the theft, they were able to locate the suspect walking through a nearby trailer park. The suspect confessed and the stolen items were recovered and returned to the Dollar General.

Joel Christian Sandlin was arrested in connection with the thefts at the Dollar General and recovered stolen items. He is currently in custody at the Cleveland County jail with a charges for a felony and a misdemeanor related to this case.

Chavez said another arrest was made Monday morning.

“A farmer called that someone was trying to steal his tractor, and we were able to stop the theft and make an arrest,” Chavez said. “We have reason to believe the vehicle and the trailer being used in the theft were also stolen.”

Randall Levi Lewis is currently in custody at the Cleveland County jail on two felony charges related to this crime.

Deputies in the target areas will also respond to traffic offenses.

Residents can assist by taking action to make themselves less of a target. In addition to locking cars and homes, keeping records of valuables and livestock including photos, serial numbers, model numbers and other identifiers will help when those valuables are recovered.

“Many of these crimes are crimes of opportunity,” Chavez said. “Lock your doors and secure your valuables. If something is stolen, let us know so we can respond. We want to stop these crimes as much as you want them stopped.”

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