The Norman Transcript

July 25, 2013

Witness pursuit of burglary suspect leads to charges

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A burglary suspect, who a witness pursued last month after seeing him run out of a friend’s house, was charged Wednesday in Cleveland County District Court.

Justin Brenden Smith, 23, of Oklahoma City, was charged with first-degree burglary and knowingly concealing stolen property.

Oklahoma City police were responding in reference to a burglary June 4 after a witness followed a suspect who ran out of a Cleveland County home, jumped into the back seat of a car parked in front of the house and left, a probable cause affidavit said.

The witness told police that the owner of the house called him after her son called her, telling her there were strangers at the house. When he went to check, he saw one of the strangers run out of the home, so he followed him, records state.

While following the vehicle, the witness got into an accident with the strangers and continued to follow their vehicle near Southwest 119th Street and Interstate 44. He said two people got out of the front of the car and ran. The man he saw run out of the home got out of the back seat and started to run toward him, the affidavit said.

The witness backed up a little but tried to keep eyes on the suspect. The witness later signed a form for police, identifying the suspect as being inside of the house, records state.

The mother also arrived on scene and identified several items that were inside of the strangers’ vehicle, the affidavit said.

Smith’s bond was set at $15,000 and was to be transported to Cleveland County Jail on June 7, a note written on the affidavit said.