Tahlequah Daily Press

March 12, 2014

Two Okay men booked in school, church burglaries

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Area authorities are working together to solve several school and church burglaries after two Okay men were caught stealing air conditioners in Sequoyah County early Tuesday morning.

A suspicious vehicle was reported Tuesday morning near a Marble City school in Sequoyah County, and deputies there soon spotted a truck leaving the scene.

Deputies tried to stop the truck and were involved in a short chase that ended near Adair County. They eventually arrested 21-year-old Dylan L. Compton and 21-year-old Robert R. Ford, both of Okay, for theft and larceny.

According to Sequoyah County officials, deputies found four air conditioning units in the truck, along with an electronic organ possibly stolen from the Cherokee Children’s Mission in Bunch.

Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault confirmed Tuesday that local investigators are now involved, and have traveled to Muskogee and Sequoyah counties as part of the follow-up.

Chennault said local authorities are trying to determine whether the Okay men were involved in a couple of recent church burglaries in Cherokee County, where musical equipment was stolen.

A number of Cherokee County churches and at least one school have also reported the theft of their outdoor air units in recent months. Most of those thefts occurred in the Hulbert, Lost City and Peggs areas, but Chennault said investigators are not yet sure if the two Okay men have any connection to those thefts.