Two men suspected of burglarizing nearly a dozen area churches are now in jail. - Ada, Oklahoma

Two men suspected of burglarizing nearly a dozen area churches are now in jail.

John Russell Pittman, 29, and David Thomas Lewis, 19, both of Ada, were arrested by Pontotoc County sheriff’s deputies Saturday, according to Undersheriff Joe Glover.

“On Thursday, Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police Officer Casey Gentry made contact with them during a K-9 stop at the Ada Travel Stop,” Glover said. “During this stop the officer observed property items marked with a church name.

“Later (Pontotoc County Sheriff's Office) deputies and Lighthorse officers had a meeting to discuss the rash of church burglaries. During this meeting a second Lighthorse officer remembered the prior K-9 stop by Gentry.”

Glover said after the meeting, deputies, Lighthorse police and Ada police converged on a residence in Ada and found numerous stolen items from 11 church burglaries.

Both suspects were taken into custody at the scene and brought to the sheriff’s office for an interview.

“When the suspects were arrested they were wearing shoes which have been matched to shoe prints found at several crime scenes,” Glover said.

“During questioning both suspects made admissions to breaking into numerous city and county area churches. The investigation also revealed the suspects burglarized the Oak Hills Golf Course and Chickasaw Nation Tribal Housing Department property.”

Deputies are still sorting through the recovered property and are working closely with Ada police detectives and Lighthorse police in the on-going investigation. Both Pittman and Lewis are being held on a $25,000 bond.

“Thanks to the alert actions of the Lighthorse K-9 officer, these suspects are now in custody,” Glover said.

“This is a perfect example on why deputy cross-commissioning works for the community. The cooperation and assistance from the Lighthorse police was truly outstanding,” Glover said.