Campus police have arrested two individuals involved in the recent auto theft.
Three officers patrolling campus around midnight on Oct. 25 outside of United Methodist Hall noticed three suspicious-looking individuals who matched descriptions of the auto burglars seen in surveillance videos throughout the month.
The officers approached the individuals, who split up and ran away. One suspect ran into the Methodist parking garage, where officers found her hiding behind a car.
The suspect, a 15 year-old female, was interviewed and returned to her parents without being charged. The other two suspects got away, but the investigation led police to find the car that was stolen Oct. 24.
Officers found the car north of campus and caught two individuals getting into the vehicle. The two individuals, a 15 year-old female and a 17 year-old male, were arrested, and the car was returned to its owner. The vehicle has a broken window and some damage near the front.
“In the interviews, our suspects said they targeted the OCU campus because there were a lot of unlocked vehicles,” said Bradd Brown, chief of police. “This is not surprising, as crimes of opportunity are usually more common than crimes that involve damaging the vehicle. Unlocked doors are no excuse to steal a car, but lock everything.”
All suspects of the burglaries are juveniles, between 13 and 17 years old.
According to the Youthful Offender Act of Oklahoma, 16 and 17-year-olds can be charged for some crimes. The older suspects may be charged through the adult system, and the younger ones will be charged through the juvenile system, Brown said.
All suspects live within a mile to the north of campus, but none of them have ties to OCU. All crimes were committed on foot, between midnight and 7 a.m.
“The investigation is ongoing because we still have more suspects,” Brown said. “It appears that a whole group of juvenile individuals are involved.”
Brown said he could not release the names of any suspects because of their juvenile status.
“Continue to use caution, lock your cars and apartments, and let us know if you see anything suspicious,” he said.