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Lawton Man Jailed After Sheriff's Raid

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LAWTON Okla_ A Lawton man has been jailed after thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods were found in his home.

The Comanche County Sheriff's Department went to this home at 12th and J Avenue Wednesday armed with a search warrant. They arrested one resident, Thomas Collins. Inside his home, they found flat screen TVs, laptops, and even guns, all believed to be stolen.

County investigators say rural areas have recently been plagued with a string of burglaries. They say several citizens tipped them off, telling them where they believed they could find the property. Now, it's a matter of connecting serial numbers to their owners. There are a lot of them.

"I'd say there was several thousand dollars here worth of stuff," Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley said.

The laptops, high dollar TVs, and even guns are all believed to be stolen.

"These people have worked hard all their life to have something and some thieves come in and take their stuff so we love getting that back to the owners," Stradley said.

He said this property was found scattered throughout Thomas Collins' home. While he offered no real explanation as to how it got there, Stradley said investigators know getting it off the streets helps put a dent in criminal activity.

"The biggest part of this gets swapped for drugs," Stradley said. "They will take your $2,000 TV and swap for $50 worth of dope."

One highly sought-after piece of property that was recovered was guns.

"They like getting guns," Stradley said. "They're easy to swap, and they can swap with just about anybody. So, the number one thing we like to get off the street is the guns."

That means there is less chance of those guns ending up in the wrong hands. Stradley said while many find comfort in living in rural areas he said beware: you can still become a target of burglary.

"Well, in town, there's a good chance a neighbor will see you breaking into a house," Stradley said. "Out in the county, you're a mile, two, or three miles away, and they know no one will probably catch them that way. That's why they're picking out in the county."

Stradley and his investigators stress the importance of collecting your serial numbers to all your high-dollar property. They say in addition to that, mark your property permanently with initials or any sort of inscription that will identify the property as yours. Many times, serial numbers are removed and investigators have no way of knowing who it belongs to.

Sheriff Stradley said this bust was made possible thanks to a flood of tips that came into his office. He encourages people to report anything big or small that could lead to an arrest.  

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