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Walters man arrested for string of crimes

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WALTERS, Okla_A Walters man has been arrested for a string of burglaries and fires. James Gwin was arrested last Friday in connection with at least four house burglaries and breaking into at least seven vehicles. Police said he also set two vehicles on fire; one was destroyed.

Gwin spent nearly seven years in prison for previous crimes before being released from the Department of Corrections' supervision in January 2013. After his release, he stayed in Cotton County working for a construction company.

Authorities said he committed his first crime since being released on December 12 when he stole a pickup truck. After stealing the first truck, he decided to steal more and even set some on fire. Walters Police Chief, Mike Carter, said the evidence came together and they were eventually able to put it all together, "We were able to put evidence together where he was involved in taking and stealing vehicles and then parked them all over town." 

It wasn't just vehicles he broke into; authorities said he is also linked to four house burglaries where he allegedly stole TV's, laptops, and an Xbox. This isn't the first crime spree for Gwin, he was previously charged in 2006 in Leflore County in southeast Oklahoma. Chief Carter isn't surprised by the development given Gwin's past, "I guess his history in the past was the same type of scenario. You know, taking vehicles, and burglary. He even mentioned to me that he even had a chop shop at one time"

With a history like his, authorities were questioning why he would commit the same crimes again. "Part of it was a little bit of a thrill and the other part was hoping to maybe to try to find something to make some money to survive on," said Chief Carter.

Authorities are still investigating some of the house burglaries. As of now, he is facing four counts of larceny of automobile, and two counts of arson.

Gwin remains in jail on a $600,000 bond, $100,000 for each offense.

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