Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 14, 2012

Shopping spree lands local duo in jail

TAHLEQUAH — Two people were being held Monday for allegedly using stolen credit cards to purchase more than $3,000 worth of products in a span of about two hours Friday morning.

Tahlequah Police Detective Jeff Haney said officers responded to several calls Friday that, at first glimpse, appeared unrelated, but as the investigations unfolded, they began to connect the dots that ultimately led to the arrest of Loren J. Smith, 28, and Sarah Lynch, 26.

Officer Chris Smith responded to Aspen Drive, in the Southridge area, at around 9:45 a.m. Friday after school supplies, a purse, credit cards, keys, and other items were taken Rosetta Thomas’ car overnight. Her credit cards had, by that time, been used five times to make purchases totaling more than $3,000 at Walmart and a Tahlequah smoke shop.

Later on Friday, Sgt. Steve Young and Lt. Billy Dowling responded to Cherokee Hills Apartments, near Monroe Street, when callers said they saw a man attempting to break into an apartment. Officers arrived and made contact with Lynch and Loren Smith, who was inside the apartment on the floor, putting together an entertainment center, according to Haney.

“The door jamb on the apartment was messed up, so [Loren Smith] had kicked his own door in,” said Haney.

Young left the apartment complex when he was dispatched to the Southridge area to take a report from Justin Austin, who said his car stereo had been stolen overnight. Austin described the stereo in detail, and Young realized he’d seen the device inside the apartment on Monroe Street.

“So, Sgt. Young goes back to the Cherokee Hills apartment residence and matches the stereo up. It’s an exact match,” said Haney. “It had an after-market wire installed by Sooner TV for an accessory. The cut wire matched perfectly, as did the scratch marks on the stereo and the car’s dash.”

Haney said Officer Chris Smith, while at the Cherokee Hills apartment, also noticed four cartons of cigarettes inside. The officer realized the cigarettes were the same brands that had been purchased with Thomas’ stolen credit cards Friday morning.

“During execution of search warrants on the residence and a car, we found miscellaneous identifications to two other possible burglary victims, and we found medications, probably to another victim – possibly an auto burglary,” Haney said.

Aside from the entertainment center Loren Smith had been working on inside the apartment, officers located a 42-inch TV, numerous speakers, subwoofers, power inverters, and more, all of which were allegedly purchased with Thomas’ stolen credit cards Friday morning.

Lynch allegedly denied using stolen credit cards to make purchases, but Officer Jake Keys reviewed surveillance footage from Walmart that reportedly shows Lynch and Loren Smith pushing shopping carts to the check-out stands Friday morning. The video shows Lynch pulling credit cards from her pocket and using them to pay for the merchandise, Haney said. The credit card numbers were recorded in Walmart’s database, and match those stolen from Thomas.

Loren Smith allegedly refused to cooperate or speak with officers at the apartment on Monroe Street. Haney, in his affidavit for a search warrant, said Loren Smith told the detective he “just did nine years for burglary – this ain’t nothing,” and then asked to speak with his lawyer.

State court records show Loren Smith spent eight years in state prison for robbery with a firearm after being convicted in Tulsa County, and he was released in July 2011. Lynch was being sought by authorities in St. Louis, Mo., who have said they will extradite her. Haney said Lynch’s criminal history includes several second-degree robbery charges, theft, stealing credit cards, and drug possession.

Lynch and Loren Smith were being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center Monday on $20,000 bonds. Anticipated charges include knowingly concealing stolen property, five counts of unauthorized use of a credit card, and possession of stolen property, though Haney said the investigation will continue and other charges are possible.

Several officers spent hours on Friday collecting the evidence and working the case. Haney said a dog inside the apartment had reportedly been stolen from another apartment nearby, and was identified by its owners Friday. Haney said police will attempt to contact other possible burglary victims whose ID cards or medications were found at the scene.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered everyday to your home or office. Code for E-EDITION TRIAL OR SUBSCRIBE Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition.

It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • gawf-johnny.jpg Nylon case doesn’t fool deputy; drug charges to be filed

    A Tahlequah man is jailed at the Cherokee County Detention Center after being arrested on drug possession charges.
    Deputy Michael Cates stopped Johnny Lee Gawf, 25, near Stick Ross Mountain Road and U.S. Highway 62. Gawf did not have his driver’s license and had a no-bond warrant for failure to pay.
    When Gawf was asked to step out of his vehicle, he allegedly reached into a pocket and pulled out a black nylon case, which he claimed to be a pocket knife. Gawf sat the case in the seat of the vehicle.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-CN-citizenship.jpg Dual citizenship still OK for tribes

    It’s been almost a year since the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma was forced to close its casino, leaving about 150 members without jobs.
    Right before the operations was shuttered, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker offered a plan to absorb UKB employees, scheduling three employment registration meetings in September 2013.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • TPS to hold graduation at Doc Wadley, after all

    A letter obtained by the Tahlequah Daily Press states that graduation exercises for the Tahlequah High School Class of 2014 will be held at Doc Wadley Stadium on May 23.
    Tahlequah Public Schools received an invitation from the city and Northeastern State University to hold the graduation ceremony inside the NSU multipurpose event center, and the district was initially agreeable. But the necessity of limiting invitations to 10 or 15 per student because of seating concerns drew heavy criticism from seniors and parents.

    April 22, 2014

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Stocks