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Kiefer Residents Victimized By Big-City Crime Wave

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John Matthews is Kiefer's assistant police chief. John Matthews is Kiefer's assistant police chief.
One of the men suspected in the crime wave was captured in this QuikTrip surveillance video clip. One of the men suspected in the crime wave was captured in this QuikTrip surveillance video clip.
The men went through several towns, using the stolen credit and debit cards. The men went through several towns, using the stolen credit and debit cards.
A suspect walks away from the cash register after police say he used a stolen debit or credit car. A suspect walks away from the cash register after police say he used a stolen debit or credit car.

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

KIEFER, Oklahoma -- The small town of Kiefer is suffering from a big-city crime wave.  Someone broke into two houses and 15 cars in one night.  One victim was a blind woman, another was a young pregnant woman.

The victims are not just upset by what the thieves took, but also by the fact they no longer feel safe in their own homes.

Jessica says her bank called and asked if she'd been shopping with her debit card all night.  She'd been home fast asleep.

"I went out to my car, and it was gone and panic set in. I told my dad, and he checked his vehicle and his GPS was missing as well," said Jessica.

Police say surveillance video shows three men using Jessica's stolen debit card.

They say the men went on a shopping spree that started in Glenpool, then moved to Tulsa, Sapulpa and even Collinsville, buying cigarettes and gas for several vehicles.

Officers say these same men are persons of interest in other car break-ins as well as some big home burglaries.

According to John Matthews, Kiefer's assistant chief of police, one of the victims is lucky she wasn't at home.  

"They took jewelry, guns, cameras, computers, just about everything they could carry out of there. The lady, doesn't see, she's blind.  If she'd been home, there's no telling what could've happened," he said.

Victims of these so-called property crimes will tell you, it feels very personal.

It steals their peace of mind and sense of security, to know criminals were that close to them and they never even knew it.

"Psychologically, you don't realize how much it runs through your head," said Gary, one of the victims. 

"For the past week, I've been sitting there trying to figure out, were they watching us, did somebody calculate on us, see our cars, are they coming back."

The victims hope anyone who recognizes these men will come forward.  They say it's us against the criminals and we have to stick together.

"This is what it's all about, to be a community, to be community oriented, to take care of one another, no matter how big or how small, whatever," said Gary.

Police believe the suspects were carhopping, which is a huge problem in Green County right now.  Criminals go car to car, looking for unlocked ones and steal whatever they can find.

7/26/2011:  Related story:  Broken Arrow Police Warn Of New Trend In Car Break-ins

It's critical you lock your car doors, even in your own drive-way and empty it of everything a thief might want.  Lock your house doors and set your alarms too.

If you recognize the men in the video, call Kiefer police at 918-321-5931.

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