A Wagoner County man is behind bars after an extensive crime spree spanning several counties ended with a school bus chase.
Brandon Howe led several law enforcement agencies on a lengthy chase spanning nearly 40 miles.
Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott says they worked tirelessly with several other agencies to put Howe behind bars.
“You’re not going to come into my county and burglarize the victims of my county that I took a solemn oath to protect," Elliot said. "If you come into this county we are going to aggressively find you and arrest you and take you into custody."
Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect, Brandon Howe, was first involved in two separate home invasions on Friday. At the first home, deputies say Howe was armed with a knife and pushed an 87-year-old woman down to the ground to steal her keys.
“I can only imagine the terror that went through her mind when she saw this individual come into her house and start assault her,” said Elliott. “I’m safe to assume she thought she was going to die right there in her own house.”
Elliott said Howe then crashed the woman’s car and ended up stealing a second car from another home nearby. He said the second family had surveillance video and deputies immediately recognized Howe.
Howe is a tribal citizen so they started working with Creek Nation Lighthorse Police to get a warrant.
“All Wagoner County deputies are cross deputized as Creek Lighthorse so we worked this case together,” said Elliott.
Tuesday night, Howe was spotted in Gore in Muskogee County stealing several cars and a four wheeler before eventually jumping in the Braggs activity bus. Howe then led several agencies on a chase and the bus was stopped in Coweta.
Braggs Superintendent John Pinkston said he got a call last night saying one of their two activity buses was stolen. The bus is used to transport student-athletes to games and now some of those events might need to be cancelled.
“Our kids and our coaches work hard year round to be able to get these kids these activities so when they don’t get to participate it’s pretty disheartening,” said Pinkston.
Elliot said Howe then refused to get off the bus, so one of their K-9 Officers, Edo, was deployed.
“The K9 made a successful apprehension, got the suspect out of the bus and we were able to take Brandon Howe into custody,” said Elliott.
Pinkston said the financial loss from the damage to the bus is significant for a district their size and the $3,000 would be much better spent on something else.
“We try to manage every dollar that we can do an unforeseen expense like this is critical to us,” said Pinkston.
Brandon Howe is now in tribal custody and his charges are still pending.