LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - After years of putting people behind bars in a courtroom, a retired district attorney helped catch two burglars in the act Friday, June 3.
Rande Worthen, who is running for the state House of Representatives, was going door-to-door campaigning near Northwest 12th Street and Dearborn Avenue Friday when he noticed two kids acting strangely, knocking on random front doors. He continued to watch out of suspicion and called 911 when he heard a crash.
Worthen says after calling the police, he watched the two boys hop the fence in the back yard, jumping into another and taking off down an alley. That's when he got in his car and followed one of the boys where he cut him off and was able to detain him. At that point, he waited for police.
Worthen worked in the district attorney's office prosecuting criminal cases for 29 years. He says after reading hundreds of police reports, he developed a kind of sixth sense when it came to crime. He says their behavior is what caught his eye.
"You know, they're not just acting quite normally what a kid would do if they were just playing around, or going to go somewhere," Worthen said. "There was just that idea of they're looking around, they're trying to see what's going on. So you get that idea of that it's just not quite right. And that's why I kept watching them."
Worthen says he acted on impulse, and says it's something that every citizen should do when things like this happen.
"I'm not one to just sit back and watch things happen," Worthen said. "If I see something, I try to make a difference. I try to get involved and that's what I did for my time in the DA's office all those years, is try to make a difference, make this community better, make the county better. And that was my whole purpose."
Police found a box of items including cough syrup and other over the counter medicines that looked as if they had been taken from the house. Worthen says doing crimes like this is inexcusable.
"Going out, committing burglaries, taking other people's things," Worthen said. "That's not what it's about, and even the victim in these cases, even if they don't have anything taken from them, they are still a victim. And they feel that intrusion. That invasion of their domain, their privacy, the things that they've worked hard for."
The homeowner was not home at the time of the burglary and was told about the incident. She has decided to press charges.
The boys were caught and arrested for 2nd degree burglary, and resisting an officer. The final charges are pending upon completion of the investigation.