Two Teens Arrested In Theft, Burning Of Twin Hills School Buses

Friday, August 26th 2016, 3:11 pm
By: Tess Maune

Two Bixby teenagers are in jail accused of stealing and burning two school buses this week.

Okmulgee County Sheriff's deputies say two more arrests are possible.

The superintendent said the good in this situation outshines the bad.

Joshua Coppedge and Garrett Raynor, both 18, are two of the suspects accused of stealing then torching two Twin Hills school buses.

“I'm not necessarily a vicious person, I hate to see them...lives ruined because it's a big enough crime it could ruin some lives out of it. But will let the police handle that,” said Twin Hills superintendent, Gary McElroy.

The Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office says the teens, and possibly two others, were drinking on the Twin Hills school playground before they stole the buses.

Investigators say the teenagers used lighter fluid they'd shoplifted to set the buses on fire in a wooded area not far from the school.

McElroy said, “The damage has been done to us.”

But the superintendent is moving past the bad.

“The positive side of it is what makes you warm inside, I guess you'd say,” McElroy said.

Friday he drove back to the district in a school bus donated by Dean Burke and Broken Arrow's Great Plains Resource.

8/26/2016 Related Story: BA Man Donates Bus To School After Buses Stolen, Burned

“Our business is founded on helping the school districts out because they're struggling financially,” Burke said.

Twin Hills students are even taking note of the generosity, sending the company's owner a handmade thank you note.

McElroy said, “I feel like God's helping us, I do.”

He said the school has gotten support from all over the state.

“Twin Hills is such a tight-knit community,” he said. “I knew they would come out in full force, but the people outside the community that's calling us and trying to do stuff for us, ya know, it's just unbelievable.”

Detectives said they tracked down the teenagers by evidence left at the scene.

Investigators said they don't know why teenagers decided to torch the buses or why they were at the school.