Muskogee County Crime Victims Help Track Down Burglars


Tuesday, December 17th 2013, 10:33 pm
By: News On 6


A Muskogee County family takes matters into their own hands to try to track down the thieves who broke into their home and stole priceless items. The Hayes family felt like the sheriff's office was moving too slowly, so they started their own investigation.

Don and Terrye Hayes live along a county road outside of Haskell. When Don got home Monday afternoon, the couple's dogs were inside anymore. The red flags immediately went off.

"When you live out in the country, you're far away from authorities and pretty much you've got to take the law into your own hands," said Terrye Hayes, recent victim of a burglary.

Terrye's husband Don got home Monday afternoon and realized the dogs weren't inside anymore. The red flags immediately went off.

"I walked in here and saw everything tore off the walls, about off the walls, everything a mess," said Don Hayes.

"This is where my husband's jewelry box sat. They took it completely," Terrye said. "This is where the TV, the Xbox was, they took it."

But those are just material things.

The Hayes' son Donald passed away two years ago in a car accident.

"They stole his Air Force medals, and they rummaged through his stuff that was sacred to me," Terrye said.

The crooks left a muddy footprint on a speaker as they tried to take the flat screen TV off the wall.

But the most important piece of evidence - a security camera photo of their getaway car. Investigators discovered the license plate was stolen, but when the Hayes family posted the picture on Facebook, they got tips the car was in Wagoner County.

"We got in the car, and we drove and we found the car and we called the authorities," said crime victim Terrye Hayes.

Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson believes the suspects are connected to crimes in both Wagoner and Muskogee Counties.

"One of the suspects is a person that I personally dealt with back in the late '90s when I was working the streets," said Sheriff Charles Pearson.

"When someone comes into your own house, and they ransack it and they take priceless items, it kind of ruffles your feathers," said Terrye Hayes.

The Hayes family hopes their detective work will spare anyone else from being burglarized by the same people.

Some good news - two people have been arrested in the burglary. One was caught in Wagoner County, the other in Muskogee County.

Investigators are still looking for two more suspects.