Alert Citizen Helps Owasso Police Catch Would-Be Car Thieves
OWASSO, Oklahoma - New police body camera video shows the moment Owasso officers tracked down two men accused of trying to steal a car.
Owasso Police said they quickly caught up with Robert Merrill and Jeremy Aguirre after a concerned citizen tipped them off about something odd happening at Classic Chevrolet car dealership.
Merrill cooperated, but Aguirre ran.
Officer: "Stay put, stay put! Don't look at me!"
Aguirre: "I'm not gonna resist…I'm not resisting. I won't."
Eventually, police got Aguirre in handcuffs.
Aguirre: "How are you doing Mr. Hutton?"
Officer Hutton: "Well, I'm doing better than you sir."
Aguirre: "Yes you are."
Deputy Chief of Police Jason Woodruff said a citizen drove by someone walking through the parking lot, carrying bolt cutters, on a Sunday when the dealership was closed.
"It was really a good example of a citizen being aware and seeing something suspicious and notifying us," Woodruff said.
He said the suspects almost got away with it.
Woodruff said they left the dealership after moving the car they planned to steal to the front gate - planning to return and get it later.
"Dropped one person off at the car lot on foot, who had gone in and cut the locks off the gates and had gone in and actually managed to get a car started," Woodruff said.
Woodruff said they happened to have a detective in plain clothes in the area who was able to get the car pulled over quickly, but, without the tip from the citizen, he said the suspects probably would have gotten away.
"Definitely call us,” Woodruff said. “We would much rather respond and it turn out not to be anything, just some kind of innocent activity. We'd rather respond and find that out than for someone not to call and we miss a crime that's occurring."