Five men face charges of stealing equipment from the Oklahoma Conservation Commission District Office complex in Chandler.
According to a news release, the investigation began in May when the Chandler Police Department called the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Thieves broke into the shop behind the Conservation Commission office and stole a Ford F-350 flatbed truck, a 35-foot gooseneck trailer, John Deere Gator, John Deere skid steer, John Deere ZTR mower, a utility trailer with a Lincoln welder mounted on it and miscellaneous tools and saws. The value of the theft was estimated at $200,000.
Agents learned the day after the burglary the stolen equipment had been seen in Okfuskee Count so they met with OSBI agents in Okfuskee County and began a joint investigation.
The agents learned the stolen equipment may have been hidden in woods in southeast Okfuskee County. After several days of searching the area, agents found most of the stolen heavy equipment hidden there. They recovered the Conservation Commission’s John Deere skid steer, gooseneck trailer, John Deere ZTR mower and John Deere Gator. The state Ford F-350 truck is still missing.
ODAFF special agents along with the OSBI, Okemah Police and the Okfuskee County Sheriff executed two search warrants at the homes of the suspects and found evidence that linked the five men to the Lincoln County burglary.
Here's list of the suspects:
Brent Welkley, 27
Bobby Walker, 40
Jonathan Dyer, 30
Randy Summers, 33
Edward Dennis, 35
Welkley and Walker were booked into the Okfuskee County Jail on complaints of 2nd-degree burglar. Dyer was booked on 2nd-degree burglary and conspiracy. Summers was booked on 2nd-degree burglary and larceny of an automobile. Dennis was booked on two counts of concealing stolen property.
Agents said Welkley also had methamphetamines and a sawed-off shotgun.
The men will eventually be moved to the Lincoln County jail.