By Randy Mitchell

City Editor

BYNG — Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian says a group of alleged burglars were caught in the act Saturday.

Deputies responded to a call near Byng and arrested Jason Dewayne Newberry, 33, Oklahoma City, Ricky Joe Pettit, 45, Midwest City, and Rodney Dale Rose, 46, Del City.

“They’re all from the Oklahoma City area,” Christian said. “I guess they were just down here seeing what they could gather up.”

Christian said drugs were also found in the suspects’ possession. Deputy Will Hayden responded to a call on County Road 3575 just before 4 p.m. where the caller, Ernie Sheppard, was building a house and noticed an air conditioning unit missing.

“Ernie stated that someone had taken a new air conditioning unit from a new construction that he was building,” Hayden said in a report. “Ernie stated that on the way to meet me, he observed a maroon pickup with an air conditioning unit in the back that looked very similar.”

Hayden and Sheppard drove to the house where the pickup was seen.

“As I drove by the vacant residence, I observed a male in front of the residence,” Hayden said. “I observed the subject (Ricky Joe Pettit) look at me, then start running around the west side of the residence.”

Hayden positioned his patrol car to block the suspect vehicle and witnessed Pettit run into the rear door of the house.

“I then yelled, ordering him to come here,” Hayden said. “Ricky then came back outside along with a second subject, Rodney Dale Rose. Once Rodney observed me, he turned around (and ran back into the house).”

Hayden said he then saw Newberry attempting to enter the suspect vehicle. Hayden detained and arrested Newberry and Pettit and called for backup.

“Ada police officers Jeremy O’Brien, Kathy Umbewust, Jason Mosley, Allen Police Chief Eric Holcomb and Deputy Jacob Castleberry arrived on scene,” Hayden said.

Officer Umbewust found Rose walking down County Road 1500 and detained him. He was taken back to the scene where officials were examining the air conditioners in the pickup. One of them belonged to Sheppard.

“All three suspects could not sit still or control their facial or body movements,” Hayden said. “Drug Recognition Expert Jeremy O’Brien advised all three subjects were under the influence of intoxicants.”

The pickup was towed to a secure location and inventoried.

“Deputy Castleberry recovered eight syringes, three small baggies with a white powdery substance in them, a metal spoon with a white crystal substance on it, and a clear plastic straw with white residue inside the glove compartment of the pickup,” Hayden said.

Christian said other items from area burglaries were found in the pickup as well. He said the matter is still under investigation.

Pettit, Rose, and Newberry were arrested on suspicion of second-degree burglary, possession of methamphetamine, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, larceny from a house, possession of drug paraphernalia, public intoxication and possessing, receiving or transporting stolen copper.

“I certainly wish to thank the Ada and Allen police departments for their assistance in apprehending these three subjects,” Christian said.

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