By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — A Blanchard man was charged Tuesday in Cleveland County District Court after police found two stolen vehicles and made eight arrests at the location the vehicles were found.
Christian Dean Gage, 21, of Blanchard, was charged for two counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle. Gage admitted to police that he drove both of the vehicles to the location police found them, the affidavit filed with charges stated.
“I’d like to leave it at not one person here is guilty of doing anything with these trucks but me. They didn’t have nothing to do with what I’ve done,” the affidavit quoted Gage as saying.
Both stolen vehicles were Ford F-250s. The total value of the vehicles recovered was $28,300.
Eight individuals were arrested at the location of the stolen vehicles Saturday night after Oklahoma City police located them in Cleveland County with the help of Oklahoma Highway Patrol and a theft tracking system.
Oklahoma City police were led to the location of one of the stolen vehicles through LoJack, a theft recovery system directly operated by law enforcement, a press release sent out Tuesday stated.
“The Del City Police Department verified the theft and entered the vehicle information into the state and federal crime computers, which automatically activates the LoJack transponder concealed in the vehicle,” the release stated.
A pilot with the Oklahoma Highway Aircraft Division, Troop O, then picked up the silent homing signal from one of the stolen Ford trucks that had LoJack. OHP then asked Oklahoma City police to assist with finding the stolen vehicle located in the area of southeast 89th Street and South Bryant Avenue, according to the affidavit filed with the charges.
Upon arriving in a trailer park in that area, directed by the OHP pilot, police spotted the stolen vehicle parked at a residence.
Another vehicle also was parked at the residence which police confirmed was stolen as well, the affidavit stated.
The homeowner at the residence signed a search waiver for police to look for keys to the stolen vehicles. The police located one set of keys for one of the Ford pickups, which led to Gage admitting to police he drove both stolen vehicles to the location and parked them.
The police officer noted in the affidavit that both stolen vehicles could start without a key being placed in the ignition.
“Often, vehicle thefts help investigators uncover further criminal activity,” the release stated. “There were eight individuals arrested in connection to this theft on various charges, including possession of stolen vehicles, numerous drug charges and outstanding warrants.”
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