By Craig Day, The News On 6
VINITA, OK -- Rural residents in one area of northeast Oklahoma are on alert after a rash of home burglaries. Thieves kicked in doors and took all kinds of valuables. Four homes were hit in a single day, most likely by the same group of thieves.
"They kicked this door in," said burglary victim John Smith.
It was Wednesday afternoon when thieves went to John Smith's rural Craig County home and kicked in the back door, went inside and helped themselves to Smith's valuables.
"Took guns and jewelry, cameras, a little bit of cash," said John Smith.
To make the burglary even more unnerving, Smith was only about 100 yards away working in his pasture and unaware it was happening. He could have just as easily been inside when the door was kicked in.
Stealing turns John Smith's stomach.
"At this point it makes my blood boil. I don't like it, never have and never will," said John Smith.
Smith's home wasn't the only one targeted by those thieves on Wednesday. In just one day, four homes were hit in a five mile radius in northern Craig County. And, there could be more.
Two similar burglaries happened in other parts of the county a couple of weeks ago.
"Economic times cause people to do strange things, and certainly I think that has something to do with it," said Craig County Sheriff Jimmy Sooter.
Deputies have a good description of the thieves' vehicle. It's an older model Lincoln Town Car. Light blue, silver or green with tinted windows.
"Had description of four different vehicles, either two males and two females or three males with one having very long hair," said Craig County Sheriff Jimmy Sooter.
The sheriff's office has stepped up patrols in the area, and alerted the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and law enforcement in neighboring counties to be on the lookout.
Smith says many neighbors are keeping their guns handy and keeping an eye out for any further suspicious activity.
"Anything strange, contact the sheriff's department," said Craig County Sheriff Jimmy Sooter.
Anyone that sees anything suspicious or sees the suspect vehicle should call the Craig County Sheriff's Office at 918-256-6466.