The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

June 20, 2014

Crime briefs

NORMAN — Police locate Sooner Mall suspect

Norman police frequently utilize variety of technology and community partnerships to investigate crimes, and, with social media, police can rapidly distribute and receive information related to community issues.

Recently, the department used Facebook to help identify a potential child predator in the community when an officer noticed a posting by a concerned resident regarding possible illegal behavior by a man at Sooner Mall.

Police immediately contacted the victim, who had not yet made a police report, and began communicating with community partners at Sooner Mall, who helped officers quickly identify the suspect.

Shortly thereafter, Norman police officers contacted and detained the suspect, who was subsequently questioned by detectives.

Investigators haven’t submitted formal charges to the district attorney. However, the case is ongoing and active.

Apartment fire leads to arson charge

A Norman man faces a first-degree arson charge after allegedly starting a fire in his apartment while his roommate was at work.

Jason Donald Allen, 23, was also charged Wednesday in Cleveland County District Court with a misdemeanor count of tampering with a required smoke detector.

“Smoke detectors throughout the apartment had been removed from the ceiling and their batteries removed,” the affidavit filed with the charges said.

The fire occurred at 8:30 p.m. April 17 at The Edge apartment complex, 2200 Classen Blvd. Allen told fire investigators that he had been drinking and smoking marijuana at the time, the affidavit said.

Allen said he had been paranoid and believed someone was out to get him and the feeling became worse when his roommate left for work. He said he heard someone come into the apartment and, fearing who it was, he hid in a closet and pretended to be a dog, according to the affidavit.

After the person left, he told the investigator it was the last straw and someone was out to get him. He then said he started the fire as a diversion to escape the apartment and took down the smoke detectors to leave the apartment before the fire alarms went off, the affidavit said.

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