Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 16, 2013

Theft trio leads to one suspect

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — All signs are pointing to the same man being the one who committed a trio of burglaries described as “smash and grab” thefts, including one right here in Garvin County.

Samuel Wilhoit, 51, of Oklahoma City is currently being held in McClain County jail after he was found with property taken in the heist earlier this month

Authorities here believe Wilhoit is responsible to breaking out a glass door on May 6 to get inside a convenience store and gas station located near state Highway 29 and Interstate 35 a few miles south of Pauls Valley and west of Wynnewood.

Taken from inside the store were thousands of dollars worth of items, including a large amount of cigarettes.

As it turns out burglaries done the exact same way with the same type of items stolen also occurred in Oklahoma City and Okemah, which is located several miles east of the metro area.

The OKC theft took place last month, while the one in Okemah occurred last fall.

An official with the Garvin County Sheriff’s Department said all three thefts also included the suspect taking measures to obstruct the view of security cameras outside.

Capt. Travis Crawford said the suspect would then wait an hour before returning, where he broke the door and proceeded to steal items with a “large amount of money value.”

Along with cigarettes, other items taken in the theft here included lottery tickets, batteries and two full displays of sunglasses.

“There were several thousand dollars worth of merchandise,” he said.

Ironically enough one of the lottery tickets stolen from here wound up “hitting” on Wednesday for a woman in Oklahoma City.

“That ticket was stolen in our burglary,” Crawford said, adding the woman didn’t get the lottery winnings since the ticket had been stolen.

Wilhoit is now in custody after Lighthorse police spotted the vehicle he was driving, which at the time was parked at a casino in McClain County.

Earlier Garvin County officials had put out an alert the vehicle might have been involved in the theft here. Items were found in the vehicle later confirmed stolen in the theft.

“He was arrested for stolen property in connection to our burglary case in Garvin County,” Crawford said.