Tulsa Suspect Has Long Criminal History

Monday, May 4th 2009, 3:02 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A prison escapee is back behind bars.  He is also the prime suspect in the theft of dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.  The Tulsa Police Department's Burglary Squad, the ATF and U.S. Marshals' Violent Crimes Task Force made the arrest because the suspect is an ex-con with a long history of gun crimes.

Officers and agents surrounded the Deluxe Inn near 27th and Memorial and called out to Kevin Coyle inside.

They thought he was hiding in the attic space above his room, but he came out without much trouble, which was a big relief, given the fact he's accused of stealing guns and ammo just last week.  Plus, he's an escapee with an extensive criminal record.

"This guy, we considered armed and dangerous, so we couldn't take any chances, had to be safe for everyone involved," said Tulsa Police Sgt. Brandon Watkins.

Kevin Coyle was booked into jail along with two more people, Jason Strickland and Kevin Starr and police say they have recovered some of the stolen property and are looking for more.

"It's a concern to us anytime that amount of guns could be sold on the black market, so we'd like to locate those weapons," said Tulsa Police Officer Leland Ashley.

Coyle is no stranger to guns and crime.

He was convicted in 1991 of attempted robbery with a firearm when he was barely 18 years old.  He was given a 15 year sentence, escaped a month later and got two more years, which would have had him incarcerated until 2008.

But, he was out well before that and was re-arrested in Tulsa in 2002, for stolen property and having a gun as an ex-con as well as charges in Haskell County of concealing stolen property.  He was sentenced to four years that time and served less than two and was arrested in Tulsa again in 2006 for drugs and again having a gun as an ex-con and also in Rogers County for drugs and having a gun while on probation.

He was sentenced to seven years.  He served two and was sent to Tulsa's Avalon Center, a half-way house, on January 23rd.

He escaped on April 14th and now, he's been arrested again for yet another charge involving guns.

Coyle faces more burglary and gun charges, as well escape.

Tulsa Police say Coyle was easy to spot because he has more than two dozen tattoos, including at least nine flaming or smoking skulls, a swastika and a dragon.

4/29/2009 Related story: Guns & Ammo Taken From Auto Repair Shop