Assault Rifles Found In North Tulsa Standoff Returned To Owner

Friday, June 1st 2012, 6:48 pm
By: News On 6

A half-dozen high-powered assault rifles are back with their rightful owner tonight after being stolen yesterday.

The owner of the guns had surveillance video of the suspects ransacking his house.

He knew one of the suspects and took police to her house, where four people barricaded themselves inside with all those weapons and boxes of stolen ammunition.

After six hours and several cannisters of tear gas, the four suspects finally gave up.

They were hiding in the attic.

Had they decided to use the stolen guns, it could've been very bad for police. They had assault rifles, shotguns, even a 40-caliber carbine and armor-piercing rounds, plus they had a police scanner.

"Here's three of them I got back," burglary victim Arlie Piguet said.

Piguet is the owner of the stolen guns.

He believes his former sister-in-law was the mastermind, because she knows his routine, had stolen his safe keys and knew his Pit Bull well enough to distract her.

"It was a grab and dash, what it was," Piguet said. "Four of them. All got an armload of guns a piece and cut off. I missed them by 40 minutes."

Arlie took police to his ex sister-in-law's house and, sure enough, they found one of the suspects, who slammed the door and refused to come out.

Six hours later, police took Jason Rathburn into custody, along with his brother, Jacob, and Amber Hughlett and Melissa Steely.

But Piguet's ex sister-in-law was not arrested.

"They say, ‘we turned her loose, nothing to pin on her,'" he said. "It's all clear as a bell to me."

Police are still investigating her.

In addition to recovering seven of Piguet's eight stolen guns, they say they also found items from two men who were robbed at gunpoint last week and possible evidence involving a recent shooting.

Arlie's guns had been hidden pretty well.

"Police had to destroy the inside of the house to find them all. Even had one rifle wrapped in garbage bags, wrapped in duct tape," he said.

Piguet is glad to have his guns back and glad no officers were hurt.

He's still missing some clips, ammo, his knife collection and jewelry.

He'd like to see the suspects pay dearly for their crimes.

"What upsets me, stealing a firearm is a federal offense with a minimum of 10 years, times eight guns," Piguet said. "They should all get 80 years in federal prison, that's how I look at it."

Police booked Rathburn for burglary and the other three for having stolen property.