Rogers County Community Helps Trooper Track Down Suspected Burglars
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper is thanking the community after thieves broke into his grandmother’s home.
It started Sunday morning when a neighbor noticed a vehicle at the Rogers County home of the trooper’s late grandmother.
When the trooper’s father went to check on it, he saw the back door had been kicked in.
"I was only a few miles away, so I had come back to check the residence to make sure everything was fine, and at that time the vehicle had already left," the trooper said.
After getting a description of the vehicle from a neighbor, the trooper put it out to the Rogers County community.
"Great neighbors, great people in this community, watch out for each other so they were aware of a distinguished vehicle to look for," he said.
A member of the community spotted the truck Tuesday and alerted the trooper.
He said he was able to track down Christopher Westbrook walking along a rural road, then, a short time later, Krystal Byrd, who pulled up in the truck that matched the description.
The trooper said he contacted the Rogers County Sheriff's Office as well as a witness.
"Matched the shoe print from the suspect that was wearing the shoe to the door. Identical footprint, shoe print," he said.
The trooper said Westbrook even had a pill bottle on him with the grandmother's name.
He said the arrest would not have happened without the public's help.
"It’s very important for people in the community to be aware of their surroundings and help each other out. It can happen to anybody. You know, people think it don’t, it can,” he said.
The trooper said the burglary hit close to home.
"You know it does get emotional, it does kind of set in and kind of make you mad at times, but in this line of work you've gotta keep it professional,” he said.
The trooper said he was able to get some of the items back
Westbrook and Byrd were arrested on several complaints, including burglary and drug possession.