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Altus duo arrested in string of car burglaries

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ALTUS, Okla_An alert Altus resident is being credited with putting the brakes on a couple of car burglars. Police say they arrested 18 year old Diego Quirino and another 17 year old man a little after two o'clock Sunday Morning. They say it's been tough to pinpoint any sort of pattern since the burglaries were scattered over the city, that is, until Sunday.

Police say the resident saw a suspicious car doing something unusual and called the police. Once police caught up to them, they admitted to the crime.

Quirino is just one half of a duo police believe is responsible for a rash of car break-ins in a neighborhood in north Altus. Investigators say they got them, thanks to a vigilant resident.

"They told us that there was suspicious vehicle up there driving around the area with the lights out," Chief Tim Murphy said

Murphy said police had pulled the pair over for that, once they got closer to the car, police smelled marijuana but Murphy said the pair knew it wouldn't be long before they were found out and decided to give up.

"At the scene the actual owner of the vehicle walked up to him and made an admission to the officer he'd made some mistakes and wanted to talk to the officer."

He admitted to taking several items from several cars that night including billfolds, a firearm, knives, clothing and electronic equipment.

Chief Murphy said the thieves were driving the neighborhood and checking to see if cars parked outside were unlocked, if they were, he said the thieves considered whatever items were inside fair game. He said although they've arrested only two men, it's cracked the case wide open thanks to a homeowner who was paying attention.

"I commend the citizen that called in and reported the suspicious vehicle because without that phone call we very well may not have caught these individuals early Sunday morning."

Murphy couldn't give me the exact number of cars the pair hit, but said the case isn't over. They hope to make more arrests very soon.

Police say Quirino is expected to be in court Tuesday. They released the 17 year old to the custody of his parents.

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