Listen: McAlester Burglary Suspect Accidentally Calls 911
McALESTER, Oklahoma - A cell phone saved the day after a pair of Oklahomans called the cops after a burglary.
The twist--they were the thieves, and they had no idea they were dialing 911.
Investigators say the thieves were targeting families they thought might gone to a funeral. At least twice, victims in Pittsburg County were burglarized while they were at their loved one's funeral.
But it wasn't until deputies got the call that they were able to catch the crooks red-handed.
"I didn't even get to go through half the of the house," one suspect said during the phone call.
It was a conversation intended to be confidential and criminal in nature, but a pocket dial to the one number no crook would never purposely call changed that.
Last Friday night, Pittsburg County dispatchers were listening as two men on the other end of the line discussed their loot.
"We're good, I got enough jewelry, we're good," one said.
They debated going back into the house they'd just hit, only this time, one of the men wanted to park the getaway truck in the garage.
"What if something happened and they did come home, what would you do then?" he asked his accomplice.
But as the two were debating their next move, deputies were tracking them.
"Usually we have to go to the most extremes to catch someone," said Sheriff Joel Kerns.
But this time, Kerns said they just had to trace the call. He said deputies caught Payton Brewer, 23, at Gold and Silver Exchange, trying to sell some of the jewelry he'd just stolen.
The other suspect ran away when officers showed up, but the sheriff said they found evidence in Brewer's truck that links the men to more burglaries.
"Had a bunch of memorabilia from a veteran, which we found out who that was today, and we got that back to him, too," Kerns said.
The sheriff said Brewer and the other suspect were targeting grieving families. In April, investigators believe the men broke into a retired deputy's house and stole his badge. It happened during the man's wife's funeral.
Then, Monday night, he said Brewer's accomplice struck again, burglarizing a woman's home while she was away at her husband's funeral.
"Apparently, he reads the paper and looks at the obituaries or whatever to know that this person died," Kerns said.
The sheriff isn't releasing the name of that second suspect, but said deputies are close to closing in on him.
"He knows we're after him, I mean, he's hiding from us now," Kerns said.
The sheriff said a woman was arrested Tuesday for helping the second suspect during his burglary Monday night. But he said four others have been taken in this week connected with the burglary ring.
The sheriff said the suspects were stealing to get money for drugs.