Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

July 3, 2013

Man charged with stealing trailers

TAHLEQUAH — Prosecutors have charged a Welling man with three counts of grand larceny for allegedly stealing multiple trailers and pawning them with fake bills of sale.

Robert Wayne Mathews, 46, was arrested in Sallisaw on June 4 by Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart. At the time, Mathews was allegedly in possession of a utility dump trailer that had been stolen out of Muskogee County.

According to a report filed by Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault, authorities in Van Buren, Ark., contacted local investigators May 22 and said Mathews was pawning an “unusually large number” of trailers.

The pawn shop transactions were being monitored through a computerized reporting system. None of the trailers Mathews had pawned had Vehicle Identification Numbers, investigators said.

Local authorities received a list of the trailers Mathews allegedly pawned, and believed at least one on the list – a 20-foot-long car hauler – had been stolen from Terry Foster in Cherokee County. That trailer was taken from Foster sometime between May 16 and 19, and was pawned in Van Buren on May 28.

Investigators from multiple Oklahoma and Arkansas agencies gathered in Sallisaw June 5 to interview Mathews. He allegedly admitted to stealing at least 16 trailers in various areas in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, and later pawning them.

Mathews allegedly admitted three of the trailers were taken from Cherokee County. He did not know the names of the victims, but was able to provide geographic locations and trailer descriptions for the three trailers, Chennault’s report said.

According to Chennault, Mathews took trailers from Foster; from local resident Ray Goode; and from S&S Communications Specialists, a company in Hulbert. The latter two trailers have not been located, as Mathews was unable to remember where he pawned them.

Mathews told investigators he would drive around looking for trailers to steal, and that he preferred to take bumper-pull trailers. Once he decided he would take a particular trailer, he would back his truck up and hook onto it. If the trailer had a hitch lock, Mathews told investigators, he would remove it with bolt cutters. He would then pull the trailer a short distance, drive into a secluded area, and remove the VIN with a battery-powered angle grinder.

He also allegedly told investigators he would sometimes paint the trailers with spray paint, then place a self-manufactured decal labeled “H&H Trailer Sales” on the trailer. He would later provide pawn shops with fake bills of sale, showing he purchased the trailers from the H&H Trailer Sales, which he claimed was in Nebraska.

Mathews allegedly told authorities he never broke through a locked gate or into a building to steal a trailer, and said he never took one on a Sunday.

Investigators searched Mathews’ truck June 5 and found bolt cutters, an angle grinder, the self-made H&H decals, and blank bills of sale containing the H&H name, Chennault’s report says.

Mathews has also been charged in Sequoyah County with grand larceny and knowingly concealing stolen property.

Court records show a $20,000 bond was set on his Cherokee County charges and Mathews was released from jail. A bench warrant was issued Tuesday after Mathews failed to show up for his initial appearance.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • jn cvbc fire.jpg Church catches fire after burglaries

    Authorities are looking for the person accused of breaking into the Crescent Valley Baptist Church two times this week and likely causing a fire that damaged the youth building early Wednesday morning.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw Humane photo.tif More volunteers needed to house strays, help with spay-and-neuter

    Furry friends may seem like the perfect addition to round out a family.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marijuana, seeds lead to four arrests

    Four people were arrested on marijuana related charges early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop on South Muskogee Avenue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Sex offender found living in tent at river

    Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators arrested a convicted sex offender this week when they discovered he has been living in a tent along the river.

    July 24, 2014

  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-TCP-jump.jpg Tahlequah Community Playhouse revving up for new season

    Tahlequah Community Playhouse is kicking of its 41st season with a nod to friendship and aging.
    TCP finished auditions for its first play of the season, “The Dixie Swim Club,” on Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Infant mortality dropping in county

    When a mom-to-be is expecting a healthy, happy baby, every week of pregnancy is crucial.
    Short gestation, or premature births, is a leading cause of infant mortality. Any child born before reaching 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature.

    July 23, 2014

  • Board considers combining tourism, chamber positions

    Members of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the local Tourism Council are discussing the possibility of combining two jobs into one.
    Chamber President Steve Turner encouraged board members Tuesday morning to be prepared next month to decide how it will begin a search for a new executive director.

    July 23, 2014

  • New chamber board members nominated

    Three new board members will likely be installed during the regular August meeting of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce.

    July 23, 2014

  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Stocks